Friday Five: Students Celebrate AAPI Month with Special Reading (May 5, 2023)

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text: mental health awareness month; take care of yourself with watering can and flowers in the background

1. May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. APS is committed to supporting positive mental health and wellness. APS is committing to adding intervention counselors in all secondary schools. Additionally, the Arlington County Board approved additional clinicians to work in APS high schools to increase access to services. Moreover, APS students receive instruction in positive wellness strategies through the health and social-emotional learning curriculum.

APS provides and recommends a range of resources to support students and staff:
988: If you or someone you know is in emotional distress, 988 is a free resource available 24/7 by phone, text or online.
School Support Line: This line provides support for bullying, isolation, suicidal thoughts and other mental health issues and is available 24/7. Dial: CALL 833-Me-Cigna (833-632–4462)
Additional local and national resources are available online. To learn more about Mental Health Awareness Month and how you can help to spread the word, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Sassan Fiske 2023 national Chinese Speech contest

2. W-L Student Wins National Chinese Speech Contest

Congratulations to Washington-Liberty senior Sassan Fiske, who won the Honorable Award from the National Chinese Speech Contest. Around 1,400 students from all over the United States competed. Sassan was one of the 30 students who won the high school group, and the only student from Virginia. We are so proud of him!

text: happy teacher appreciation week with text books, apple and globe in the background

3. Celebrating APS Teachers!

Next week (May 8-12) is Teacher Appreciation Week! We encourage families to share messages of gratitude on social media using #ThankAPSteachers. We’ll be highlighting videos and other submissions from students sharing about their most inspiring teachers throughout the week on social media. Send a free eGreeting to a fellow teacher or staff member to celebrate this special week. Don’t forget to celebrate National School Nurses Day on Wed, May 10 and School Communicators Day on Fri, May 12.

group of students with teacher Erin Kowalevicz

4. Randolph Teacher Selected to Attend Fulbright-Hays Seminar Program in Jordan

Erin Kowalevicz, a first-grade teacher at Randolph Elementary School, is selected by the US Department of Education to participate in the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program in Jordan. Erin will improve her understanding and knowledge of Jordan’s culture and history through firsthand, immersive experiences, workshops, and discussions. She will return home with an expanded network of connections in Jordan and create curriculum materials for her students and learning community. Congratulations, Erin!

author Michelle Li

5. Barcroft and Drew students participate in AAPI Reading Event

Students at Barcroft and Drew Elementary Schools celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in the library with new children’s books featuring Asian Americans and a special reading. The Very Asian Foundation, started by Michelle Li, co-host of the Today Show in St. Louis, donated 50 books to Barcroft and Drew with the help of corporate partners such as Avalon Bay. Two St. Louis high schoolers approached the foundation with the idea of donating high-quality children’s literature to school libraries to give a window into Asian American life and build connections and empathy. Other visitors included Georgetown football player, Talati Polamalv, who impressed the students with stories of auditioning for the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

Other News & Notes

Equity Profile Dashboard Community Conversation: Engaged Workforce takes place Wed, May 31 at 6:30 p.m. virtually. Register | Learn More (English) (Spanish)

School Board Member Mary Kadera to Host Virtual Open Office Hours on Tue, May 9.

Escuela Key In the News: Secretary Cardona Shows Off Dual-Language School to International Education Leaders