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Oakwood Schools


Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

showing a diverse cross section of hands
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. 
Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.




Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day festival celebrating the "rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its defilement by the Syrian Greeks in 164 BCE," according to My Jewish Learning

Much of the activity of Hanukkah takes place at home, including the lighting of the menorah, an eight-branched candelabrum to which one candle is added on each of the eight nights of the holiday.  Based on the story of the miracle of the cruse of oil, it is tradition to eat food fried in oil.  The most familiar Hanukkah foods are the European potato pancakes, or latkes, and the Israeli favorite, jelly donuts. 

Developed in Europe, the tradition of giving small amounts of money as well as nuts and raisins to children at this time was created.  According to My Jewish Learning, because the holiday falls near Christmas, "Hanukkah has evolved into the central gift-giving holiday in the Jewish calendar in the Western world."

Sesame Street: The Story of Hanukkah

Super Why: Judith's Happy Hanukkah


Rockefeller Christmas tree

Christmas is celebrated Dec. 25 and is both a "sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon," according to  Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth on Christmas.  Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.  Christmas Day has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.



Grumpy Monkey Oh, No! Christmas

The Night Before Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas


candles lit for Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African-American culture held Dec. 26 - Jan. 1, culminating in a communal feast called Karamu, usually held on the 6th day. 

Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State university, Long Beach, introduced the festival in 1966 to the United States as a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home.  Karenga combined aspects of different harvest celebrations, such as those of the Ashanti and those of the Zulu, to form the basis of the holiday. 

Though often thought of as an alternative to Christmas, many people actually celebrate both. “Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, but a cultural one with an inherent spiritual quality,” Karenga wrote. 3. Kwanzaa centers around seven principles.

What is Kwanzaa?

Kevin's Kwanzaa

Sesame Street: Kwanzaa



The Plan for Access and Success for All

Equity is the foundation framing every aspect of the educational system from curriculum adoption to professional development.  With the vision of creating an educational environment where all students feel safe, valued, seen and heard, Oakwood Schools established its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force to lead the District in establishing a solid foundation around culture, curriculum, and community. 

That foundation is The Plan for Access and Success for All.

Additional Information:
Task Force Introduction, Board of Education Dec. 14, 2020 Meeting
The Next Right Thing, June 1, 2021

Plan for Access and Success for All
Vision Statement and Mission Statement
Guiding Principles
Belief Statements 1-5
Belief statement 1
Belief statement 2
Belief statement 3
Belief Statement 4
Belief Statement 5




With the help of Oakwood Schools' staff, we have compiled resources to help parents and students talk about topics related to equity, diversity and inclusion.  There are read alouds, book lists, blogs, essays, podcasts and website links.  We will continue to add to this resource section.  You can also find additional information and resources on the Recognition and Resources page.

Read Alouds and Book Recommendations 


Diverse Book Finder

The Diverse BookFinder is a comprehensive collection of children's picture books featuring Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC).  The American Association of School Librarians recognizes the site as one of its Best Digital Tools.  

AASL best digital tool logo
All Ages

2022 Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners - arranged by age, from preschool to young adult.  Awards are given to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.

Children Need Diverse Books - Wright Memorial Public Library Children's Librarian Karen Mills helps parents build an inclusive bookshelves for their children

A Mighty Girl - a list of books on prejudice and discrimination that can be sorted by age and reading level

Elementary Reading Level
Collection of picture books demonstrating diversity

20 Picture Books for 2020
EmbraceRace was founded in early 2016 by two parents who set out to create community and gather resources they needed to meet the challenges they face raising children in a world where race matters.  Here's their collection of 20 picture books.



Young Adult/Teen Reading Level

Ways to make sunshine book cover

Ways to Make Sunshine - Renee Watson
Ryan Hart has a lot on her mind -- school, self-image and especially family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means some changes, like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is a girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks. As her brother says when he raps about her, she's got the talent that matters most: it's a talent that can't be seen, she's nice, not mean!


Their Eyes Were Watching God -  for young adults.  The book, first published in 1937, has become the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.

Collection of Voices

A collection of blogs, podcasts, videos and articles for parents and educators looking for additional information

OIC logo
The Oakwood Inclusion Coalition held its 2022 annual meting Wednesday, April 13, 2022.  Visit the OIC's website for the annual report.

Oakwood Inclusion coaltion 

Oakwood Inclusion Coalition

Oct, 12, 2020, members of the Oakwood Schools' Board of Education approved a resolution showing support for the Oakwood Inclusion Coalition.

The OIC's mission is "To study, promote and celebrate an inclusive, equitable, diverse and welcoming environment and community for everyone who lives, works, visits or passes through Oakwood."