Salt Lake City Schools Should be Teaching Tolerance Along with the Three R’s

This year, students attending one of Salt Lake City’s schools were learning about Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, as part of their curriculum. The McGillis School tells children why this holiday is observed, along with Jewish customs associated with the festival.

It doesn’t matter that not all the students attending this particular school in Salt Lake City are of the Jewish faith. This exercise would be a valuable addition to the curriculum at any one of the Salt Lake City schools, or schools in any other region, for that matter. Schools need to focus on the basics of education, that is true, but there are other reasons why children go to school as well.

Schools Responsible for More than Just the Basics

Along with learning about English, Math, Geography, and the like, we send our children to schools in SLC to learn how to socialize and interact well with others. It is those lessons that will stick with the children long after they have graduated from school.

Part of the problem of intolerance and prejudice comes from not really knowing anything about the people that we are being intolerant of or prejudiced against. Schools in Salt Lake have the power to start changing that. Would we continue to believe stereotypes about a certain group of people if we actually knew someone personally who happened to belong to that group? Probably not. We would know that whatever thoughts we had about a particular race, religion, country of origin, or what have you are not based on anything real.

Tolerance Programs Should be Included in All Salt Lake City Schools

We all tend to be less tolerant of things we don’t understand; it’s just human nature. Simply because it is in our nature to behave in this way, that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn better patterns of behavior. Let’s start with the children attending our schools.

I really do hope that this program is adopted by all schools in the SLC area including other districts as well. Let’s get the children thinking about different ways that holidays and festivals are observed, but also let them know that underneath it all, that we are really not all that different. That would be a wonderful lesson to leave the students attending Salt Lake City schools with when they go out into the bigger world to further education or to work.

Given that Salt Lake is largely know for the often criticized Mormon religion, it’s a really great sign that the community is helping children to understand different belief systems. This new attitude of acceptance and tolerance that they learned while attending Salt Lake City schools is contagious (but in a good way). We all have a duty to stamp out intolerance whenever we see it, and starting children on the learning process while they are still attending Salt Lake City schools is a great way to start.

Choosing Elementary School Photographers – Part I

If you look on the wall of any mother’s home you will find cherished memories framed for every year. No matter how silly the photo, school photographs are remembered for a lifetime. Like most things that have a deep rooted tradition, technology has made elementary school pictures much more exciting. Many schools go with the traditional school pose for their fall program. But did you know a lot of schools use spring pictures as a fundraiser and have fun doing it?

Things to Consider when Choosing an Elementary School Photographer

Before you can think about how school photography can be a great fundraiser, you first have to choose the right photographer. For school photographers in San Diego, most decisions are made by the administrative staff, while others are left to the PTO or PTA. However, with school staffs being spread so thin these days, many schools are leaving the decision to the PTO.

There are so many school photographers available today that the decision to choose a school photographer can be a difficult one. A school photographer in San Diego is going to have a different program than a local company in a small town.

Listen to word of mouth. Good school photographers will have people talking about them. They will also have a good selection of experienced, professional school photographers to run your school picture day. It is always good to take a look at the company’s website to see their overall philosophy.

Something else to consider when choosing a photographer is who is actually taking the school pictures. You might want to ask for sample pictures taken by the actual photographers who will be at your school picture day. Many schools ask to meet the photographers who will be working at their school, which isn’t a bad idea. You want a photographer who will allow the kids to relax, because when kids are relaxed they take better pictures. This in turn leads to parents who are satisfied with their school pictures.

Another consideration when selecting a photography company is how much work will be required of the school. Many companies provide all the staff needed for picture day and require no volunteers from the school. When a company takes most of the work off of the school they are well valued.

Other photographers prefer teacher and parent volunteer involvement on picture day. There is a rational explanation for this, that the parents and staff know the students better. However, if your photographer is experienced in taking elementary school pictures, the kids will warm up to them very quickly. Plus, parents are not experienced in running a school picture day, that should be the job of the school photographer.