We sat down with Emily Barclay, our amazing music teacher at KIPP Raíces Academy and gained some powerful insight into how our National Blue Ribbon and California Distinguished School, as a community, nurtures the whole child.
How do you think you inspire passion in your KIPPsters?
Inherent in KIPP Raíces Academy's key values, catering to the holistic needs of each of our KIPPsters has been a part of their mission statement from day one -- “inspiring the passion” and providing students with the opportunity to explore their passions, and share those experiences with their peers, families, teachers, and school community.
KIPP Raíces Academy achieves this goal in a number of ways, from the inclusion of special subjects in our daily curriculum to weekly clubs program to our after school activities and events throughout the year. I believe we offer a robust extracurricular calendar for our students and families, and it is these events and groups that round out the school experience for everyone at KIPP Raíces Academy.
“We focus on academics, and we care about the whole child. To us, the whole child means tapping into the things students enjoy, allowing them to explore and experience new things that interest them, along with learning how to interact with others who share those interests.”
- Edana St. Pierre, Teacher
How does this focus align with the core values of your school?
The core values of KIPP Raíces Academy are Love, Honor, Integrity, and Excellence. Our school’s focus on nurturing the whole child aligns with each of these values, in different ways.
We inspire the passion in our students by helping them discover activities they love--Each Monday, every Achiever at KRA participates in a club. These clubs are multi-age, with students from every grade level in each group. Offerings range from soccer club to magic club, to yoga, to arts and crafts, to friendship bracelet club, to chess, and even Legos club!
It is also important for us to honor the heritage and culture of our school community, and we are lucky enough to do so in a number of ways. Our Folklórico Academy is off to a fantastic start this school year, recently winning sponsorship from Dancers Giving Back. The Folklórico dancers meet after school, and performed at our Winter Concert this year! In September and October, we celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month which included days for staff and students to share their culture through authentic clothing from their countries, facts about Latinx heroes, and a fiesta. We honor our ancestors each year with our beautiful Día de Los Muertos ofrenda, created by our families and teachers. We are also very excited to have hosted our first posada fundraiser this December, combining favorite games and food we love while finding new ways to support our students.
The motto of KIPP Raíces Academy is Excellence from the Beginning. We believe there are many ways in which to show excellence, but one of the best ways we uphold that motto is through the many different activities and events we include in our school year-- the classic KRA Spelling Bee, our Science Fair, our Musical, Astronomy Night, Nutrition Night, Poetry Slam, and field trips. Our students’ school experience is truly excellent, and we are proud of all the hard work that goes into planning and organizing so many events for our families.
“I am proud of the variety of activities we offer to our students--over the years, these have evolved and changed, but we have always prioritized finding new ways to inspire and excite our Achievers.”
- Emily Barclay, Teacher
“Astronomy Night was amazing. These are the type of things that are great about our school--everyone enjoys themselves, the kids and the parents!” - Angie De La Luz, KRA Parent