Avonworth Primary Center and
Elementary School Curriculum
A comprehensive curriculum includes both the content and experiences students have in school. Our K-6 curricula include both diverse content and experiences that help our students build knowledge, empathy, and understanding of others.  In 2019, Avonworth adopted a powerful reading program, Wit & Wisdom. Wit & Wisdom is a powerful program for teaching reading and diverse, rigorous, and authentic literature.  Also, through K-6, Avonworth students engage in many rich and meaningful experiences to help build an appreciation of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  As we move forward with our review of our K-6 curricula, we continue to look for opportunities to expand our curriculum to be more culturally responsive. 

Learning Through Literature

Literature is a powerful tool for exploring diverse topics and perspectives.  At Avonworth School District, students are exposed to various authors and perspectives through the literature integrated into the Avonworth School District English Language Arts curriculum. In 2019-2020, Wit & Wisdom was adopted and implemented in grades K-6.  Wit & Wisdom is a knowledge-building program that is divided into four content-themed modules in each grade.  Throughout each module, students engage with high-quality, award-winning, authentic literature.  The modules and literature in Wit & Wisdom expose students to authors from diverse backgrounds and topics that build an understanding of different cultures and build empathy and understanding.  

The creators of Wit & Wisdom at Great Minds purposely selected the program's literature with the idea of windows and mirrors in mind.  A mirror reflects your own culture and helps you build your identity.  A window helps you take a look into someone else's experience.   One of their goals was to ensure all students would have the opportunity to see a representation of themselves in the literature they read, as this is critical for children as they build their self-identity.  Another goal was to ensure all children learned about the perspectives and experiences of others.  

Wit & Wisdom was also selected for its ranking as one of the best K-6 English Language Arts programs available.  Wit & Wisdom was not only built around high-quilty, rigorous text; the program fully integrates reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language learning.  Wit & Wisdom aligns nicely with the most current reading research.  This article by Meredith Liben and Susan Pimental, Placing Text at the Center of the Standards-Aligned Classroom, does a nice job illustrating many of the core concepts that are found in the design of the Wit & Wisdom program.  

The literature found in Wit & Wisdom can be reviewed here:  K-6 Literary Canon

Image shows a display in the 5th grade hall of different African American's students learned about during Black History Month
Fifth Graders Share their Learning About Influential African Americans
In fifth grade, students conduct research on influential African Americans during Black History Month. Once completing their projects, the fifth-grade students create a "Celebrating Black History Month Display" in the fifth-grade hallway to share what they learned about the individuals they researched.

Image of 2nd grade students sitting on the floor contributing to the painting of a mural that will be part of the traveling art mural project.
Second Graders Help Create a Traveling Mural Project
Second-grade students in art and library class participated in a Traveling Mural project. Through this project, students connected with other school communities around the country to create murals of peace, friendship, diversity, and love. The springboard for the project is the book Maybe Something Beautiful by Theresa Howell. After listening to the story in library class, students worked on the mural in art class. The Primary Center was able to keep one section of our mural and sent nine other pieces to the schools in their group. The other schools in their group also created mural parts to be assembled into a new collaborative mural promoting peace, friendship, diversity, and love to be displayed at the Primary Center.
Image of the children's institute presenting their kids on the block assembly to primary students in the gym
Kids on the Block
In collaboration with The Children's Institute, Avonworth Primary Center students attend a Kids on the Block presentation. Each Kids on the Block presentation features three skits, each casting light on three different disabilities. These puppet shows teach students kindness, acceptance, and understanding of others. The Children's Institute also provides supplemental activities that our teachers utilize throughout the school year to reinforce this learning.
Students sitting on the floor participating in a building disability awareness at the primary center.  A presenter is standing with a student in front of her during the presentation.
Building Disability Awareness: 
Avonworth Primary Center partners with Easter Seals of Western PA to annually host “Building Disability Awareness."  Students participate in an interactive program that promotes awareness through hands-on activities with adaptive materials and specialized equipment. Students explore physical disabilities by learning about and trying the equipment.  
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