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god’s children in extraordinary variety

A Message from STA’s Principal, Mr. Gallo

Date posted: June 1, 2020

STA Families,

Every Monday morning, our school community would gather for Motivation Monday in the gym. We always end this meeting with the Prayer of Saint Francis. As a part of this prayer, our school would in unison say “Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.” Like all of you, I have been following the events happening across our country over the weekend. I am overcome by sadness at what occurred in Minnesota. As a Catholic, I have always looked to follow the guidance of Saint Francis of Assisi. I have tried to seek to understand, to console, and to love. As much as I want to empathize and listen, I understand that I will never fully grasp the racism experienced by students, teachers, staff, and families in our community. This does not mean that I cannot do more. I have a responsibility to our community to continue to seek to understand, to console, and to love. Most importantly, I have a responsibility to do more, as understanding and consoling without action are not enough.

This has been an unbelievably challenging few months for our school community. We have seen our school building closed due to a pandemic. Parents in our community have contracted COVID-19 and families have lost loved ones to this virus. We have had families lose their jobs and face incredible financial pressures. Our community lost Mrs. Peeples in the middle of this pandemic. And we now are witnessing a heinous act of racism and the cries for real change. The combination of all of these events has been almost unbearable and has overwhelmed me with sadness. I know that our students must also be struggling to process all of this, and I believe that our school community has a responsibility to help them sort through everything that has happened to them this year.

We were planning on having our teachers begin cleaning their classrooms and preparing for the end of the year tomorrow (6/1). We will no longer be doing that, and instead we will be meeting as a faculty at 8:30 AM to discuss how to support our students through all of the tragedy our community has faced this year. We are planning on having our teachers engage the students in a developmentally-appropriate manner on these challenges before our classes end this week. You should expect to receive communication from what your child’s class will do early this week. Teachers will continue to provide consistent e-learning work this week to give our students some normalcy.

The prayer of Saint Francis begins with “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred let me sow love.” I pray that our school community, our nation, and our world work to act as instruments of peace, to eradicate hatred in our world, and to sow love.

Tim Gallo

After meeting as a faculty on Monday, June 1, 2020, we determined that we would have three goals in working with our students on these issues:

  1. Provide a space for students to talk safely about their feelings
  2. Demonstrate community and support
  3. Teach students strategies for handling big emotions

Resources for your family:

  • June 1, 2020 – While CPS meal sites are temporarily closed today, all previously scheduled meal deliveries will be completed. To sign up for delivery going forward, please call 773-553-KIDS. (Message from Chicago Public Schools)
  • St. Elizabeth Catholic Church’s Food Pantry is open every Thursday of each month. Families must live within 31st to 51st area / Dan Ryan to Lake Michigan. ID required. Time: 6-8 PM.
  • Feel free to email chicago@eater.com with tips about restaurants offering meals. This list will be updated periodically if need be. Chicago Eater
  • Read the letter from STA’s early childhood teachers, which includes various resources for your young children: Early Childhood Letter
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