Kyrene school to receive special grant from Tempe Diablos
Kyrene de las Manitas Elementary School will receive a $6,750 grant from Tempe Diablos Charities. Manitas will use the grant money to build diversity libraries in every school classroom.
Manitas is a No Place for Hate (NPFH) campus, and diversity libraries are a component of this national initiative to combat bias and bullying.
“Manitas is proud to be a No Place for Hate school,” said teacher Taylor Murphy. “The NPFH mission guides our school culture.”
Mrs. Murphy leads the Manitas No Place for Hate club. To be a No Place for Hate campus, students and staff sign an NPFH pledge and complete several school-wide projects that engage their school communities and reinforce the No Place for Hate mission and vision.
Diversity libraries are an example of a school-wide project. Diversity libraries are a teaching tool designed to engage students in civil discourse on bias, bullying, diversity, and social justice.
Before applying for the Diablos grant, the Manitas NPFH club leaders surveyed students. Survey data showed that 46% of students did not feel that the books in their classrooms were representative of their identities.
Students asked to see more books about different races/ethnicities, children who celebrate various holidays, speak other languages, have special needs, live in single-parent homes or with grandparents, or have unique interests and hobbies.
Last spring, the Manitas NPFH club held a book drive to collect books that fulfill student book requests. Unlike other NPFH schools across the country, students from every grade level are part of the Manitas NPFH club.
The Tempe Diablos grant money will pay for a complete diversity library for each Manitas classroom and help start diversity libraries at the three other NPFH schools in Kyrene.
“It is exciting to know that our students will soon be able to see themselves in the books we read in class,” said Mrs. Murphy. “Thanks to the size of the Diablos grant, other Kyrene schools will have this opportunity as well.”