One of PHCI’s main areas of focus is academics, specifically in regard to Park Hill’s four neighborhood elementary schools – Smith, Hallet, Stedman, and Park Hill Elementary. Two years ago, a group of Park Hill neighbors gathered for a dialogue about diversity, equity and inclusion, particularly as they relate to those four schools. That conversation highlighted the need to raise awareness across the community of the inequities among our schools and to work collaboratively to address them. Thus, was born Park Hill Neighbors for Equity in Education (PHNEE). PHCI serves as a fiscal sponsor, support network, and frequent collaborator with PHNEE. Recognizing the deep commitment in Park Hill to diversity, equity, and inclusion dating back decades, and the stark disparities in resources and supports at our schools, PHNEE works to improve education for all of our kids.
In collaboration with PHNEE, the first annual One Park Hill Day was hosted at McAuliffe International School. All third-graders from each of the four schools gathered at the school for a day of joy, laughter, and community building. The students were each given one of eight different colored One Park Hill bracelets which divided them into groups filled with students from all four schools. Throughout the day, the groups learned a dance routine taught by dancers from The School of Breaking and participated in team-building activities led by Denver Parks and Recreation. This event allowed kids from different racial, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds to build friendships and create memories with one another. With events like this, we have the chance to unite our diverse neighborhood of exceptional learners, helping them discover their shared humanity.
To support these efforts, PHCI staff helped coordinate the day and provided fiscal support. PHCI interns pitched in on helping manage the day that included over 300 third graders.
Huge thanks to everyone who made this event possible. Susie Seawell and the rest of the PHNEE resources committee, the McAuliffe International School Staff, Shine Volunteers, The School of Breaking, Denver Parks and Rec, and all of the principals, teachers, paras, and kids, who made the day a success.