Cultural Resources


April 2024

This month, we honor the rich heritage, history, and hopes of the more than 3.5 million Arab Americans across our country who have helped write the American story and move our Nation ever forward embodying the truth that diversity has been and always will be our country’s greatest strength.


Arab American Heritage Month

Let's Celebrate!

April 2: World Autism Awareness Day


April 9th-10th

Eid Al Fitr - The “Feast of the Breaking of the Fast” and marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting from dawn until dusk.


April 12: 

Day of Silence - Annual day of action to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) students. In the United States, students take a day-long vow of silence to symbolically represent the silencing of LGBTQ students.


April 15: 

Patriots’ Day - Commemorates the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Menotomy, some of the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.


April 19: 

Ridvan - The annual festival commemorating the 12  days when Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet founder of the Bahá’í Faith, resided in a garden called Ridván (Paradise) and publicly proclaimed his mission.


April 22: 

Passover - The eight-day “Feast of Unleavened  Bread” and celebrates Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage.

Earth Day - Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held on April 22, 1970, it now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally.



Join our equity learning community! Explore some of the books, articles, videos, and websites we have found valuable in building diversity, equity, and integration in Westwood.


GLSEN: Day of Silence Educator Guide


Women's History Month Official Site - contains links for teachers as well as audio/visual resources and links for exhibits and collections


Here are some suggestions to help educators engage students in thinking broadly and critically:

  • Diverse Perspectives:

    Include a diverse range of voices and perspectives in the curriculum. Highlight women from different ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds to ensure a more comprehensive understanding of women's experiences.
  • Interactive Activities:

    Incorporate interactive activities such as discussions, debates, and projects to encourage active engagement. This can help students think critically and express their opinions on various aspects of women's history.
  • Literature Exploration:

    Integrate literature written by and about women into the curriculum. This can include novels, poetry, and autobiographies that provide insights into women's experiences and challenges.
  • Primary Source Analysis:

    Use primary sources, such as letters, diaries, and speeches, to allow students to analyze firsthand accounts of women's experiences. This can provide a more authentic and personal connection to historical events.
  • Guest Speakers and Role Models:

    Invite guest speakers or arrange virtual sessions with women who have made significant contributions in various fields. This can inspire students and provide real-world examples of success.
  • Art and Creativity:

    Explore the arts as a means of expression. Showcase artworks, music, and performances that celebrate and represent women's stories. Encourage students to create their artistic expressions related to women's history.
  • Intersectionality:

    Emphasize the intersectionality of women's experiences by exploring how factors such as race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and ability intersect with gender. This promotes a more nuanced understanding of women's history.
  • Local and Global Perspectives:

    Connect the curriculum to both local and global contexts. Highlight women's contributions within the community and discuss global movements that have shaped women's rights.
  • Critical Thinking Exercises:

    Design critical thinking exercises that encourage students to question gender norms, stereotypes, and biases. This can foster a deeper understanding of societal expectations and challenges.
  • Equity and Social Justice:

  • Integrate discussions about equity and social justice into the curriculum. Explore current issues related to women's rights and empower students to become advocates for positive change.



How Teachers Can Support Students During Ramadan

9 Ways to Support Students During Ramadan


Suggestions for Supporting Students during Ramadan

  • Remember that when someone is fasting, breakfast begins before sunrise so people will be up very early in the day and may be quite tired by the end of the day.
  • A warm greeting is always welcome. You can extend greetings by saying: “Happy Ramadan,” “Ramadan Mubarak” (blessed Ramadan), or “Ramadan Karim” (generous Ramadan).  Similarly, for Eid-ul-Fitr we say “Happy Eid” or “Eid Mubarak.”
  • Prayer: Mid-day prayer (Zuhr prayers) typically falls during school hours, so students may need 7-10 minutes to perform these prayers in a private space.
  • Assessments: Avoid scheduling assessments or events (such as field trips) on Eid ul-Fitr. Providing additional time to any student observing Ramadan during assessments given during Ramadan if a student requests it.  
  • Mealtimes: Students observing Ramadan should have the option to study and/or read in the library during their assigned snack or lunch period or recess (if too hot outside).
  • Physical Education: Students observing Ramadan have the option to be excused from participating in physical education if they choose to do so. Alternative assignments could be provided.
  • Outdoors: When Ramadan falls during the warmer months of the year, be mindful in situations that involve extended hours in the heat. Providing an indoor alternative, if students request.
  • Libraries: Provide books about Ramadan.

Information originally developed by Nadine Tassabehji, PhD, RD, LDN, for the Fiske School Community; updated and revised with contributions from Sara Sheikh,  Nadine Tassabehji, Seri Latiff, and Amber Iqbal.


Explore Black History


Elementary - Classroom Activities


The 1619 Project Docuseries Viewing Guide


Black History Month: Teaching the Complete History Go beyond trauma and struggle to examine the liberation, civic engagement, and creativity, The 1619 Project Docuseries Viewing Guide on intersecting identities of Black people during Black History Month.


GBH Celebrates Black History Month 

Stream videos premiering this month, attend virtual forums and explore extensive past content at GBH’s Black History Month site.


Places to go to celebrate Black History Month with the family


Boston’s Black Heritage Trail

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Boston’s free African American community led the nation in the movement to end slavery and achieve equal rights. Their houses of worship, homes, schools, and Underground Railroad sites make up Boston’s Black Heritage Trail. A virtual tour is also available through the National Park Service website. 


Museum Of Science 

The Museum of Science will be spotlighting influential scientists and engineers with events throughout Black History Month.


Preschool Storytime Presents: Peace, Power, and Progress 


Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King 




Teaching Resources




Boston Public Library Latinx Book List (books for kids, teens, and adults)


8 Ideas for Teaching National Hispanic Heritage Month 





Educators throughout the district have participated in courses and book studies to guide our work and thinking:

  • Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy by Gholdy Muhammad

  • Unconscious Bias In Schools: A Developmental Approach to Exploring Race and Racism by Tracey A. Benson and Sarah E. Fiarman

  • Education Across Borders: Immigration, Race, and Identity in the Classroom by Jalene Tamerat, Marie Lily Cerat, and Patrick Sylvain

  • White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo


We work with IDEASInitiatives for Developing Equity and Achievement for Students as a M.A.S.S.Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents and professional development partner for DEI.

Westwood works with MPDEMassachusetts Partnership for Diversity in Education to meet and recruit educators of color as prospective candidates for faculty and staff positions.

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