On Thursday, April 18th our middle school Asian Affinity Group hosted the first annual TPS Asian Family Night for The Philadelphia School community. Over 90 people were in attendance as we celebrated Asian culture through food, music, and dance. We also heard from amazing speakers including our Head of School, Lisa Sun. The affinity group's goals of sharing their experiences, building community with Asian students, families, faculty, and staff was surely fulfilled during this event.
Asian Affinity Group member and 8th grade teacher Noel Yee reflects on the night:
This year, I focused on my Asian identity as an element to concentrate on in my work with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In my Equitable Classrooms cohort we surveyed students, teachers and parents to get a deeper understanding of how Asians in our TPS community feel and are perceived. The results of these surveys motivated me to work to create an Asian affinity group with two of my colleagues—Claudette Coverdale and Je Un Park.
Organizing the affinity group has been impactful for me in multiple ways. The group allows me to collaborate with my colleagues on a project that is non-academic and I get to be a leader for the small community of Asian students in the middle school.
Asian Family Night was inspired from other family nights and dinners that have occurred at TPS over the past few years. Je, Claudette, and I agreed that it was important to keep the students at the center of the evening. We worked to achieve this by asking students to offer dances, poems, flyer production and anything else they could contribute. Students were so animated and driven to present and share their gifts with their families and TPS community.
The outcome of Asian Family Night could not have been any better. Sitting in the audience that night and watching our Asian community gather was fulfilling for not just me and the parents—but most of all the night brought a sense of community to the students.
Click here to hear a poem about diversity by sixth grader Miles. Miles shared this poem at Asian Family Night.