For 24 years, we have shared triumphs and tears, navigated complex issues, and elections while supporting one another and elevating our voice to become one of the strongest influencers in the national charter school landscape. We have accomplished this through trust, understanding, and a collective belief that what we do for our community matters. In the coming weeks, our nation will learn the result of our exercise of one of our greatest rights as American citizens – our right to VOTE. We deeply believe that we as a community and as a country have far more that unites us than divides us. This time forcefully and gracefully reminds us of the importance of our collective mission at Uplift.
Education can help us bridge our differences and bring us together with respect and understanding. As with every presidential election, we expect there to be much conversation leading up to the election and after the results are determined. At Uplift, we honor our democratic values and traditions, and we will carry on with our mission to educate, support and prepare our scholars for their academic and professional accomplishments.
The coming days and weeks may be challenging for many in our schools and will be filled with complex emotions from anxiety and distress for some to relief and celebration for others. As a network, we will use this opportunity as a teachable moment to have conversations with our scholars about the election process, how we can resolve differences and conflicts, and how we can promote rich diverse points of view and sometimes conflicting ideology while nurturing our scholars. We will remember our culture of inclusiveness as we continue our vital work. We will ensure that our scholars feel safe in their learning environment by providing equitable and respectful learning communities.
The IB traits give us a common vocabulary for how we interact with one another in balanced, open-minded, and caring ways, even when we have different opinions. We are not drawn together because of how we may define our political ideology or platform. We rise together every day and put our scholars FIRST because we are connected by a deep belief in our mission to make college a reality for the 21,000 plus scholars we serve.
As we navigate our own emotions, we have encouraged our staff and families to check on one another and will be offering free counseling sessions with our behavioral counselors to all our staff and scholars. Now, more than ever, Social Emotional Learning opportunities are vital in our classrooms to encourage our scholars, families, and educators to talk and to create safe spaces where hopes, fears and differences can be raised. Uplift schools are a place where we can constructively challenge each other to reach common ground and will be providing resources to our scholars through journaling, chalking their emotions through art and open discussions.
Community is key to our respective cultures, the amplification of our voices and the wellbeing of our families. Uplift is grateful for our strong network of community partners who support our families across these key areas. The strength of our communities has been and will continue to be tested and our community partners are committed to standing alongside our families during this time as we navigate the election, and all that it means to our scholars.
The world has changed significantly since Uplift began, but our mission remains the same. Every child, no matter their circumstances, will be given the opportunity to learn, grow, succeed and approach contentious conversations with respect and curiosity. Uplift is counting on our graduates to help us leave this world better than we found it.