District 88 students participate in Youth Equity Stewardship (YES) workshop

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On April 4 and 5, about 80 students from Addison Trail and Willowbrook participated in a Youth Equity Stewardship (YES) workshop at Willowbrook.

That program is led by Benjie Howard and Wade Antonio-Colwell, and the goal is to prepare students to recognize and learn from the diversity around them. During the two-day event, participants continued their learning of the stewardship movement and discussed how they plan to apply their knowledge and skills in their schools and communities. They also shared their thoughts and concerns and ways in which the schools could improve and better support pupils.

According to https://tinyurl.com/YESInformation, YES “is an opportunity for youth and adults to practice partnership as co-creators of a compelling and vibrant learning community. Rooted in arts-based methods, the YES process brings cross-age perspective, vision, creativity and passion to the forefront of contemporary school system policy and progress. YES has proven effective and influential as a sustainable collaboration model for students and educators to enthusiastically advocate together for culturally invigorating learning environments.”

District 88 formed an Equity Task Force in spring 2015 to further enhance the district’s cultural competency, and YES was implemented to involve students in those efforts.

District 88 is proud to have a diverse school community – the district has 51 languages and more than 30 countries represented among its families, and almost half of the nearly 4,000 students at District 88 speak a language other than English at home. District 88’s core values include ensuring all students, staff and community members feel safe, valued, respected and welcome. YES is one way to accomplish that goal.