Lindsay and her colleagues, Nicki Neumann
and Fran Hensley, led a session titled "Enhance your school climate and nurture a sense of belonging" at the American School Counselor Association conference this past summer.
Neumann, a seventh-grade counselor at Cane Creek Middle School, says her school's service club activities often include lessons and discussions about diversity.
"I've always felt that because [our school] isn't more diverse, our students need more information and experiences with other cultures to get them ready for the real world," says Neumann
, who coordinates the service club.
"Also, I believe our small percentage of students from other cultures need extra support because of this issue."
gave these examples of club activities:
A teacher whose husband was serving in Afghanistan visited the service club, talked with students and showed slides of her
husband's work with the local population.
Afterward, club members wrote letters to U.S. servicemen and women and sent care packages.
A different teacher showed photos and spoke about the years she
spent working in Guatemala with the Peace Corps
"We discussed what it would be like to grow up in a community without the resources we have," says Neumann
Another teacher showed photos from a trip to South Africa, and the club collected funds to send to an impoverished school in that country.
A parent guest speaker (whose adopted daughter attends Neumann's school) spoke about
Cane Creek Middle School
Students in Cane Creek Middle School
's service club display the blankets they made to send to orphans in China. (Photo courtesy of Nicki Neumann)
China's one-child policy and its impact on girls, says Neumann