Welcome from the OCE
We are thrilled to start this new academic year and to (re)introduce the Office of Community Engagement! One aim of the OCE is to share resources for interested families to learn more about the different cultures that make up the Grace community. To that end, please check out the OCE resource board on GraceNet
for up-to-date information on all the work we do throughout the year.
Mid-September marks the start of National Hispanic and Latine Heritage Month. The month uniquely spans from the 15th of September to the 15th of October to coincide with the independence days of seven Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua on September 15; Mexico on September 16; and Chile on September 18. Extending into October also incorporates Indigenous People’s Day, the recent reclamation of Christopher Columbus Day that seeks to uplift the voices of colonized people of the Americas. The term “Latine” is used by some as a more gender-inclusive label for these racial and ethnic identities anchored in Latin America and the Caribbean. Others choose to use Latina/o, Hispanic, or Latinx. The OCE encourages people to choose the one(s) that feel right to them.
September 15 also marks the start of Rosh Hashanah, and one might say “Shana Tova,” or “good year,” to acknowledge the beginning of the Jewish New Year (this upcoming year will be 5784). Observers will sometimes feast on apples and honey, symbols of wishes for a sweet year ahead. It’s also a time to begin preparations for the upcoming day of atonement, Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is a more somber day of fasting and asking for forgiveness as one reflects on the past year. One might say “have an easy fast” or “good yontif [holy day]” to those observing.
At Grace, all students have the opportunity to learn about religious and national observances. If they wish, they are able to share more about their identities at various events, including this month’s annual Latine Heritage Chapel on September 27, where members of HOLA—the high school Latine affinity group—will present poetry, speeches, and songs. In the Middle School, Mr. Weinsier’s history class, alongside Ms. Larue’s and Ms. Sonza’s Spanish classes, are researching important Latin American changemakers for a poster project displayed in the South Hall. And later this month, our Jewish affinity groups in the Middle and High School will begin their weekly meetings to plan ongoing programming for the school. Stay tuned for many more ways to connect, and in the meantime check out the links below for more information: