• Cultural Calendar
Honoring the Legacy of Harriet Tubman

In 1990, Harriet Tubman Day was finally enacted as a national holiday by the United States Congress a gesture to celebrate her heroic work in freeing enslaved people as well as toward the overall abolishment of slavery in America. 

As it was for thousands of others born into slavery, Harriet Tubman’s date of birth was unknown. She is believed to have been born in March, at some point between 1820 and 1822, to Benjamin Ross and Harriet Green, on a plantation in Dorchester Country in New Maryland. Her birth name was Araminta ‘Minty’ Ross — she did not change her name to Harriet Tubman until after her first marriage. 

Harriet’s early life was grim; she began work as a house servant at around age 5, and by age 12, she was assigned to work in the fields. In her early teen years, she attempted to protect a field hand from the anger of an overseer, who threw a two-pound weight that instead hit Harriet on the head, instead, causing an injury that would affect her for the rest of her life. 

Harriet married a free Black man around 1845, taking his name and changing her name to Harriet in honor of her mother. She became a free woman at last in 1849, when, fearing that she and other enslaved people were about to be sold, she finally succeeded in escaping from the plantation. Once free, she then spent the next ten years tirelessly working to free other slaves on the Underground Railroad, making 19 trips back into the South that wanted her enslaved or dead in order to escort slaves to newfound freedom.  

Harriet rescued over 300 formerly enslaved individuals – including, eventually, her own parents. In her work for the Union, Harriet Tubman was a rescuer of those still trapped in slavery who also worked as a cook, a nurse, and even as a spy. After the end of the Civil War, she settled down in Auburn, New York, where she would live until her passing in 1913, at more than 90 years of age.

Learn more details about Harriet Tubman in our longer Medium article, over at https://medium.com/@PSESD121/youll-be-free-or-die-the-courage-of-harriet-tubman-9572931675b6.



Recognizing our Education Support Professionals

When it comes to education support, teachers are often the first people who come to mind, but education support professionals are just as vital in their dedication support, and their work too often goes unacknowledged. To salute these professionals, Education Support Professionals Day takes place on November 15 and gives us all at PSESD the chance to honor all of the incredible education support professionals who help and inspire our children each day.

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Celebrating October as National LGBTQ+ History Month—and National Coming Out Day on October 11!

October is LGBTQ+ History Month! Created in 1994, by a Missouri high school history teacher named Rodney Wilson who believed that a month should explore and celebrate LGBTQ+ history, LGBTQ+ History Month honors the history and courageous achievements across the years of LGBTQ+ people, including a spotlight on National Coming Out Day on October 11. Join us in celebrating our LGBTQ+ staff, students, and community members on this important day, and all month long!

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National School Lunch Week (October 9-13)

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) serves nearly 30 million children every school day, providing the essential basic nutrition that contributes to student success and teacher support, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and fat-free or lowfat milk with every school lunch. President John F. Kennedy created National School Lunch Week (NSLW) in 1962 to promote the importance of a healthy school lunch in a child’s life, as well as the impact a simple school lunch can have both inside and outside the classroom, and this year, National School Lunch Week takes place from October 9-13, 2023.

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Honoring and Commemorating Orange Shirt Day on September 30

September 30 is Orange Shirt Day—a day of remembrance honoring the hundreds of thousands of children who attended Canadian residence schools and United States Indigenous Boarding Schools, enduring abuse, neglect, disease, and worse. These schools were deliberately created to strip First Nations children of their culture,  language, and way of life, and their effects are still being felt today by those who survived, as well as their families.

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September is Suicide Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, offering an ideal opportunity to speak out and raise awareness—an awareness that is urgently required, with suicide the tenth leading cause of death among adults in the U.S.—and the second leading cause of death among children and young people aged 10-24. Unfortunately, these rates are increasing, and those who are young, LGBTQ, or BIPOC are especially vulnerable. LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide, while transgender adults, meanwhile, are almost 12 times more likely than the general population to attempt suicide.

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