Woodland Elementary School had 26 special visitors on Feb. 13 as they hosted community members and parents/caregivers to share their experiences with scholars at a National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID) event.
Speakers rotated through classrooms throughout the school day, sharing a book, explaining their career or life journey, or talking to classrooms of students about what has inspired them in their lives. Principal Terri Jackson said the event aims to help students gain insight into the everyday lives of the adults in their community and how they impact the community.
Some of the special guests included Xavier Reed, a middle school principal in Wayzata and a Woodland parent; Kennedy Klick, a graduate of Woodland Elementary and current Gopher basketball player, who spoke of the importance of education; Duane Wardally, the district’s director of educational equity, who shared about meaningful places in his life and the perspectives he gained from his learnings; Jimmie Heags, a district restorative practices and staff development specialist, who shared how he found happiness in helping others through teaching and counseling; Jules Jones, a district behavior interventionist and parent of a Woodland student, who shared her experiences integrating schools in New Orleans; and Jennifer Seltz, a community member, who provides access for leadership, inclusion and volunteer events at her place of employment, US Bank.
Jackson said that as a first-year principal at Woodland, she was blown away by the event and all the people who donated their time, talents and heart for the NAAPID event.
“It was overwhelmingly successful,” she said. “The community came together to celebrate Black History Month with our scholars, and we had an opportunity to highlight and learn from everyday heroes that live right here within our community. This event was about representation, connections and perspectives; it was about coming together to uplift, listen, learn, and celebrate.”