Head of School Sep 22, 2023
As part of the school’s ongoing commitment to civic engagement, this year, the Upper School faculty has devised a significant enhancement of the school’s traditional summer reading program.
Building on an idea first proposed by some Upper School students, the Multicultural Summer Reading Program is designed to expose students to a wider variety of voices than they might otherwise encounter. Each year, based on input from student leaders, the faculty will select a single cultural focus and then choose a series of books, one at each grade level, for students to read together. This summer reading experience is optional for students and supplements the required summer reading for their English classes. Those students who participate read the selected title for their grade level and then participate in follow up discussions and activities in the fall.
This year, the inaugural year of the new program, the focus was on LatinX literature. The titles included “Mexican White Boy” by Matt de la Peña (grade nine), “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo (grade 10), “My Broken Language” a memoir by Quiara Alegria Hudes (grade 11), and “Signs Preceding the End of the World” by Yury Herrera (grade 12).
As a follow-up to the summer reading experience, this past Friday, student body Vice President Grace Dunson, assisted by Gabrielle Walker and Nathan Walker, led an Upper School assembly featuring thought leaders from Cincinnati’s own LatinX community. Maria Piombo of the Greater Cincinnati Latino Coalition; Megan Nieto, an English professor at Xavier; Mayra Casas Jackson, a case manager at the Immigrant & Refugee Law Center; and Sergio Mata of the Community Action Agency, each presented their perspectives on the challenges facing the LatinX community in Cincinnati and fielded questions from the students. After the assembly, the panelists also participated in workshops on such topics as multicultural identity, law and literature, and community service, as well as book discussions led by the Seven Hills library staff.
As a diverse and inclusive community, we are committed to providing these kinds of “windows and mirrors,” co-curricular experiences that deepen our students’ understanding of the world and of the rich variety of human experience. This was a big undertaking, and it was especially gratifying that so many of our students chose to participate in this optional reading experience. What was even more special, I think, was how enthusiastically the faculty responded to an idea that originated from our students’ own curiosity and interests.
Christopher P. Garten
Head of School
Key Dates & Events
Friday-Satruaday, Sept. 22-23 — Homecoming
Friday, Sept. 22 — Family Picnic, 5-7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 24 — Yom Kippur Begins at Sundown
Monday, Sept. 25 — Yom Kippur
Thursday, Oct. 5 and Friday, Oct. 6 — Fall Break. No School
Monday, Oct. 9 — Faculty Professional Development Day. No School
Sunday, Oct. 15-Wednesday, Oct. 18 — ISACS Accreditation Team Visit at Seven Hills
Wednesday, Oct. 18 — Board of Trustees Meeting, 6:30 p.m.