RE: Father Daughter Dance name change Dance with your Daughter 

We would like to apologize for any frustrations that some members of the Hedenkamp community have felt regarding the recent name change of the Father Daughter Dance to Dance with your Daughter and our rollout of the name change. We regret the awkward implementation and any disappointment that the change may have caused.

The goal of the name change was to be both more inclusive of the diverse families at Hedenkamp Elementary School and to be more aligned with the PTA’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. Because of the need to be more aligned with the PTA’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative, votes by the board nor the membership at large were required to make this change. Throughout the years, concerns have been expressed to Board Members that the name of our dances do not feel inclusive to all of our students and families. There have been instances of families not participating because of the nomenclature. Our goal is and continues to be to advocate for our children, and to ensure they are represented and included.

We recognize the tradition that this dance represents for our community and will continue to represent while also making more children and parents feel welcome. If you have any additional comments, we encourage you to reach out to any of the Hedenkamp PTA Board Members, emails for each individual board member can be found immediately following the PTA’s mission statement.

We appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to serve the Hedenkamp community this 2019 – 2020 school year.

Sincerely,

The Hedenkamp Elementary 2019-2020 PTA Board

PTAs everywhere must understand and embrace the uniqueness of all individuals, appreciating that each contributes a diversity of views, experiences, cultural heritage/traditions, skills/abilities, values and preferences.

When PTAs respect differences yet acknowledge shared commonalities uniting their communities, and then develop meaningful priorities based upon their knowledge, they genuinely represent their communities. When PTAs represent their communities, they gain strength and effectiveness through increased volunteer and resource support.

The recognition of diversity within organizations is valuing differences and similarities in people through actions and accountability.

These differences and similarities include age, ethnicity, language and culture, economic status, educational background, gender, geographic location, marital status, mental ability, national origin, organizational position and tenure, parental status, physical ability, political philosophy, race, religion, sexual orientation, and work experience.

Therefore, PTAs at every level must:

•Openly assess beliefs and practices to assure inclusiveness and guard against discrimination;

•Make every effort to create a PTA board and membership that is inclusive and reflective of its community;

•Encourage that all PTA activities at the school be planned by a committee which is representative of the population;

•Foster programs and practices that eliminate bias, prejudice and misunderstanding within their communities;

•Become acquainted with the leaders of the many diverse groups in the community and collaborate with them to increase parent, family and community involvement;

•Educate its leaders and members to the needs, cultural beliefs, traditions and family structures of the population they serve; and

•Propose change wherever discriminatory practices are perceived.

•PTA values and appreciates diversity, which enriches and strengthens the structure of our society within our state and nation.

* This letter, in its original format, can be found here.