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BPS Receives $25,000 Grant to Enhance Ethnic Studies, Promote Cultural Representation of Students

The Boston Public Schools (BPS) History and Social Studies Department announced Tuesday, September 18, that it is receiving a $25,000 grant to enhance teaching and learning of ethnic studies centered on cultures that are most reflective of students’ backgrounds.


The grant, which is part of a $1.2 million allocation nationwide from the NoVo Foundation for learning that enhances social-emotional skills, will increase access to Latino, African, and Asian studies.


“For our students, learning about the intersections of race, culture, environment, family, and identity inspires insight and curiosity,” said Natacha Scott, director of history and social studies for BPS. “When students learn how their cultures impact the world around them, they’re provided a greater context for which to become engaged global citizens.”


BPS was one of 34 districts nationwide to receive the award out of 391 district applicants. Another 90 teachers from around the country won awards as well.


“By broadening our ethnic studies programming in the Boston Public Schools, we are affirming for our students that their cultures and identities matter and are an important part of history,” said Josue Sakata, assistant director of history and social studies for BPS. “We are very grateful for this grant funding from the NoVo Foundation to facilitate this important work.”


The NoVo Foundation grant, which is part of the Social Emotional Learning Innovation Fund, was presented in partnership with Education First and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.


“All across the country, teachers and districts are daring to redefine what it will mean to thrive in our interdependent and fast-changing world — elevating love, relationships, empathy, independent thinking and creativity,“ said Jennifer Buffett, co-president of the NoVo Foundation. “We could not be more excited about these awardees, each of whom is a model for educators everywhere.”