Tag Archives: love

Philanthropy Is an Act of Love

When we think about philanthropy at Prospect Sierra, we look to the literal, original Greek translation of the word philanthropy which is the “love of humanity.” We believe that we are all philanthropists, from the youngest to the oldest members of our community. And as we observed Dr. King’s birthday and approach the National Day of Service that has been established to carry on his legacy, we invite you to consider this tradition of philanthropy and how you can support Prospect Sierra and serve the organizations that are closest to our heart and yours.  

One way to think about philanthropy is to notice how you engage with the “three Ts of giving:” time, talent, and treasure. We know that many of you give your time to Prospect Sierra on a regular basis, whether it’s handing out pizza, driving on field trips, or running our all school Field Day. These acts of time are essential to operating our robust programs and creating joy on campus. We also know that so many of you harbor special talents and share them with our school community whether it’s helping us design and build Panther Picnic games, filming an event so that all parents can see their child in action, or lending your career expertise to a school committee. Lastly, a great number of you have made generous donations of treasure to our Annual Fund, a critical source of income that we rely on to help fund things like teacher salaries, professional development, classroom supplies and trips, and flexible tuition. Your gifts directly support our teachers and our children, and ensure academic excellence that is only possible when we bring diverse voices and experiences together.

In addition to participating in the National Day of Service in honor of Dr. King, later this month we will have a wonderful opportunity to come together and engage with time, talents, and treasure at our annual day of service, All Together Now. All families are invited to take part in one of many projects that support our community partnerships and our campus too, as well as participate in a student-led fundraiser. Our community partners include Alameda Point Collaborative, Canyon Trail Park, the Center for Early Intervention on Deafness (CEID), Harbor House, Refugee Transitions, and the East Bay SPCA. Click here to sign up for a specific project.

We often take time to reflect on the big picture work we do here, to build a better world and to help our children do the same. Philanthropy is a natural part of this work and we’ll reach out periodically to provide opportunities for all of us to deepen our love of humanity through philanthropy. Whether it is inviting you to support our fundraising efforts by investing in the Annual Fund, or encouraging participation in Black History Month around our theme of celebrating diverse Black people in our community and beyond, or sharing the inspiring stories of our student philanthropists, we hope you’ll join us in this work. A heartfelt thank you for all of the ways that you give back!

Seeing the World Through Our Children’s Eyes

I hope that the summer has allowed you many moments to see the world through your children’s eyes–with wonder, exploration, and sometimes awe. Even though we face significant political, international, and environmental challenges as a world community, the lenses through which children view the world need to be preserved and nurtured so that they grow up with hope and agency that they can make things better.

It’s with our children’s hearts in mind that I write to you today. I was stunned and saddened by the events of this past weekend that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. As an alumnus of the University of Virginia, I feel tied to the region and deeply disturbed by the rally of white supremacy, violence, and hate that was brought onto that idyllic campus, which for me was a place where I learned how to think more critically, sharpened my skills of intellectual inquiry and discourse, and honed my personal values of integrity and inclusion. There was and is no room for the hate that was on display in Charlottesville or in this country. Unlike love, hate is taught, and therefore our most important job today is to teach so that we bring about an end to racism, bigotry, and oppression of all forms.

At Prospect Sierra we will continue to develop our students’ awareness, compassion, and cross-cultural understandings. As you consider whether or not to engage in conversations about these current events, please note the developmental age and temperament of your child. Young children ages kindergarten through 2nd or 3rd grade do not need to be exposed to news that will upset them. It may be difficult, however, to protect them from this news and depending on your child’s temperament, talking with them proactively may be best. If you talk to your children, use age-appropriate language and spend time to let them express their feelings; then assure them that the adults in their lives will keep them safe. Older children, including middle schoolers, should still be monitored for their exposure to news. Give them time to share their emotions and if they’re feeling up to it, talk to them about what they can do to make change. Children feel empowered when they can make a difference in any way, through acts of kindness, activism, or service. I’ve included two resources below to provide you with more tips on how to talk with your children. However you choose to discuss these events, keep in mind that at the end of the day, children need to feel two emotions: safe and hopeful.

If we can do anything at school to support you, please let me know. I look forward to coming back together as a thoughtful, compassionate, and joyful community and for being there for one another through challenges and celebrations.

How to Talk to Your Kids About the Violence in Charlottesville,” LA Times.

Supporting Kids of Color in the Wake of Racialized Violence,” an interview with child psychologist Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith and educator Dr. Sandra Chapman via EmbraceRace and Medium.