• Cultural Calendar
Frederick Douglass's Birthday

Frederick Douglass was a towering individual, an escaped slave who became an impassioned activist, abolitionist, and icon. His eloquence on the subject of equality and acceptance remains just as timely today as it was over two hundred years ago. “I would unite with anybody to do right,” he once said, “ and with nobody to do wrong.”

However, it is an ironic fact that the brilliant Frederick Douglass would surely appreciate that while we now honor his birth date each February 14, Douglass himself was, until late in his life, not entirely sure of the date of his birth. Like many former slaves, he had never known his birthday, a fact that had caused him pain throughout his life. “It has been a source of great annoyance to me, never to have a birthday,” he wrote to a companion.

He later revealed these feelings to one of his former owners, Captain Thomas Auld, in 1877. “I told him I had always been curious to know how old I was and that it had been a serious trouble to me, to not know when was my birthday.” Auld, on his deathbed at the time, told Douglass that he wasn’t sure of that date, but that he believed that Douglass had been born in February 1818, a fact later confirmed by a ledger now kept in the Maryland Archives.

Frederick Douglass later celebrated his seventy-first birthday in 1888, in a public event honoring him by the Bethel Literary Society in Washington, D.C. After several guests spoke for the occasion, Douglass took the stage and spoke movingly about the unexpected complexity of the concept of a birthday as a former slave.

Douglass began his speech with a humorous reference to the fact that people were celebrating his seventy-first birthday. “What in the world have you been doing that for?” he asked. “Why, Frederick Douglass. That day was taken from him long before he had the means of owning it. Birthdays belong to free institutions. We, at the South, never knew them. We were born at times: harvest times, watermelon times, and generally hard times. I never knew anything about the celebration of a birthday except Washington’s birthday, and it seems a little strange to have mine celebrated. I think it is hardly safe to celebrate any man’s birthday while he lives.”

Frederick Douglass passed away on February 20, 1895, still fighting to the very end for social justice. The very next year, the Bethel Literary society once again celebrated his birthday. As the years passed, schools began observing “Douglass Day,” with celebrations in dozens of cities across the U.S. through the years, and which eventually led to the celebration of Black History Month and the more formal recognitions of his truly towering achievements, at last… on his birthday.

 

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Puget Sound Educational Service District Selected for Grant Program to Help Local Students Pursue Education and Career Training After High School

Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) is proud to announce that our region has been selected to be part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Horizons Regional Grant Program, a three-year initiative to help more local students continue their education after high school and achieve their goals.

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Amidst the ongoing violence and bloodshed of the Israel-Gaza conflict, we cannot ignore the countless lives lost and devasting impact, particularly to the young people ensnared in this turmoil. As a community committed to fostering peace and championing for the welfare of all, we stand together in unequivocal condemnation of violence and in our unwavering support for humanity. 

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That’s why it’s so important to celebrate their contributions each year for Education Support Professionals week, which takes place this year from March 11-15, 2024. The week was first noted for celebration in 1975 by PSE in order to salute the irreplaceable contributions of Education Support Professionals (or ESPs, for short) in the public school system.

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PSESD Presents: AUTHENTIC LEARNING IN THE AGE OF AI, with Dr. John Spencer

The AI revolution is here: How will you respond? And what AI tools can be utilized for personalized learning? Don’t miss this essential two-part event ("Authentic Learning in the Age of AI") for K-12 Educators, Leaders, and Administrators in ALL content areas, taking place on Saturday, March 30, and Saturday, May 4, 2024!

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Last Chance to Submit 2024-25 Teacher/Educator of the Year Nominations!

This week is the last chance to submit nominations for Teacher of the YearClassified School Employee of the Year, and Principal/Assistant Principal of the Year! Nominate your candidates online using the Educator of the Year Nomination Form. Applications are for all categories are open until Friday, March 1, 2024 at https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/7127358/2023-EoY-Nominations.

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Frederick Douglass's Birthday

Frederick Douglass was a towering individual, an escaped slave who became an impassioned activist, abolitionist, and icon. However, it is an ironic fact that the brilliant Frederick Douglass would surely appreciate that while we now honor his birth date each February 14, Douglass himself was, until late in his life, not entirely sure of the date of his birth.

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Image of Dior Davenport at our PSESD agency all staff celebration

Free Workshop for PK-12 Washington Educators
Join us for an engaging professional learning opportunity for PK–12 educators, principals, and school leaders. Focusing on computational thinking concepts and coding skills, this symposium will highlight Sphero's commitment to supporting district implementation of vertically aligned curriculum and activities that align to Washington's Computer Science standards.

Sphero Symposium (in partnership of Sphero and Puget Sound Educational Service District 121)
Date: Thursday, March 14th, 2024
Time: 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
Location: Puget Sound Educational Service District
| 800 Oakesdale Ave SW, Renton WA 98057
 

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Solution Providers Spring Expo

Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) and Washington Learning Source (WLS) are thrilled to invite you to participate as an exhibitor at our upcoming Solution Providers Spring Expo! This event provides an excellent opportunity to showcase your company products and/or services to a diverse audience. You will have the chance to engage and build relationships with educators and potential clients.

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Solution Providers Spring Expo

Join us at Puget Sound ESD 121’s Solution Providers Spring Expo, where you can discover the latest trends and innovations for FREE! This expo is a great opportunity to connect with like-minded education professionals and knowledgeable specialists while exploring a variety of dynamic products and services.

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Local Puget Sound-Area Events for Martin Luther King Day Weekend 2024

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