• Cultural Calendar
The Importance of a Birthday for Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was an escaped enslaved person 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 enslaved people, he had never known his birthday, a fact that had caused him pain throughout his life. Years later, in 1877, one of his former owners, told Douglass on his deathbed 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 passed away on February 20, 1895, still fighting to the very end for social justice. 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.

Learn more:

https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/the-story-behind-the-frederick-douglass-birthday-celebration

Archive

The D-Day

On D-Day—June 6, 1944—more than 156,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, in Nazi-occupied France, to take part in the largest and most daring invasion by air, land, and sea in world history.

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Honoring National Higher Education Day

The Higher Education Act was originally signed in 1965 and was federally created to improve U.S. educational institutions’ higher education programs, and to offer financial help to students unable to afford their college fees.

This goal has continued to be a vital one for many, including Izamar Olaguez and Marcie Hronis, who founded National Higher Education Day in 2015. The day has been celebrated ever since on June 6 by students, parents, teachers, and more, as a movement to inspire students to pursue higher education while also working to make college fees accessible for everyone.

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Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride in June

June means it’s time for Pride! Time to proudly support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBTQ+ Pride Month), which takes place in June to commemorate the events of June 1969, when supporters of the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York City, rose up to protest police persecution and harassment against LGBTQ people. The uprising marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw laws and practices that discriminated against LGBTQ Americans.

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PSESD Announces Kim Broomer as PSESD Regional Teacher of the Year and Julie Herdt as Classified School Employee of the Year!

Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) is thrilled to announce Kim Broomer from the Northshore School District as its Regional Teacher of the Year, and is also delighted to announce Julie Herdt of Tukwila School District as Classified School Employee of the Year!

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It's Never Too Late for Financial Aid: Support the Push for FAFSA Completion!

The Washington Student Achievement Council is asking for our support in messaging to high school seniors and their families the importance of completing the FAFSA/WAFSA. 

The only way to qualify for financial aid for college or career training is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)—or in limited cases, the WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid).

We know how vital and important this message is, so we're sharing the original message from Chris Reykdal, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, below in its entirety. There's still time to apply for financial aid—so check out the information below for further links, opportunities, plus instructions on how to do it.

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Latino Books Month

Promoting books by Latino/a/x authors and illustrators, Latino Books Month was founded by Rhode Island Latino Arts as a valuable opportunity to explore and celebrate Latino literature and to explore bilingual titles. The day encourages booksellers, librarians, and teachers to promote books by and for Latino people while also inspiring readers to explore the beauty of Latinx literature.

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Horizons Regional Grant

According to a recent study from Washington STEM, nearly 90 percent of high school students say they want to pursue a post-high school education, yet only 50 percent went on to enroll in a post-secondary program after graduation in 2022. A partnership in South King County is working to close that gap, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has charged itself with helping to make post-secondary education attainable for all students in Washington. The foundation’s newly announced Horizons Regional Grant is another step toward making sure that all students who want to attend college can do so and achieve the futures they want.

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Encouraging Children's Love of Reading for Children's Book Week!

Encouraging a child to enjoy reading a good book is one of the most useful and vital things anyone can do, providing the chance for a lifetime of joy, curiosity, imagination, and literary appreciation. As the U.S.’s longest-running national literacy initiative, Children’s Book Week takes place this year from May 6–12 and is an annual celebration of books for the young and young at heart.

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Safeguarding Student Data & Privacy, and Strengthening Cybersecurity Awareness

Join us on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at PSESD for “Safeguarding Student Data & Privacy and Strengthening Cybersecurity Awareness,” which will offer engaging and informative sessions focused on critical topics for school district personnel, building leaders, and educators. Participants will delve into essential areas related to student privacy, data sharing, and compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). You’ll explore effective strategies for vetting educational technology tools and have the opportunity to participate in a hacking simulation and learn ways to make cybersecurity incident response more effective. Our expert presenters from the U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) will guide us through these crucial topics.

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Saying Thank-You to Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week

It’s no secret that teachers are some of the world’s most important figures in our daily lives, despite the fact that they all too often battle long hours, low salaries, and other challenges – and ultimately, are simply all too often underappreciated.

But happily, this week, May 6-10, is Teacher Appreciation Week, providing all of us with the chance to celebrate teachers as they deserve!

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May is Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

It’s May, which brings that annual opportunity to celebrate the richness and history of Asian American/Pacific Islander/Native Hawai’ian Heritage Month, when we recognize the strength, contributions, and legacies of the Asian Americans, Native Hawai’ians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) who have helped to build, unite, and enrich this country in each successive generation.

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Our "Advocating for Peace and Humanity" Series

In March 2024, the PSESD Board wrote a statement outlining Our Stance and Promises Regarding the Israel Gaza Conflict: Advocating for Peace and Humanity to elevate the issue and actively support dialogue and reconciliation. Now PSESD has developed a three-part series of trainings in response to take place in May and June 2024, to support the dialogue and collective learning. The three-part series will have clock hours and all three elements were designed for educators across the system. Those interested can sign up for all three events or just one.

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