SYLVANIA, Ohio(13abc Action News) - Making sure everyone feels included was the focus of a special seminar today. Hundreds of educators and staff members from Sylvania Schools and other districts took part in a cultural awareness training session.
Chester Trail is the Diversity Specialist for Sylvania Schools, "We're dealing with some of the hard questions and the tough conversations. It is a real intentional effort to bring about change."
Celebrating Diversity, To Be a Muslim and Understanding Your Story of Self were some of the sessions. Dan Greenberg is a teacher at Sylvania Southview and the President of the Sylvania Education Association, "I think its the idea of inclusivity, students feeling a sense of belonging. When students feel their needs are being met by teachers, it enhances their learning experience. For us as educators, we want so much to be able to meet the needs of all of our students. Barriers are things like cultural differences we may not understand or never been exposed to . This training is helping us bridge that gap."
Organizers say the training session is the first of its kind in the state.
Presenters came from around the country and the state. Denise Carmack is with the Ohio Education Association, "Bringing awareness to how differences, stereotypes and biases may creep in to how we are teaching and presenting ourselves to other people."
Carmack says the educators will be taking today's lessons back to their classrooms, "We're hoping the students will be able to pick up where we're leading into and take the cultural awareness lessons out to each other."
Trail says the productive discussions today will help lead to change, "I am just hoping that the students perception will be enlightened to appreciate differences of their fellow students."