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Spark! Evaluation Results Are In


"This class never gets old! The discussion raised is wonderful. The kids could talk for hours about this! Thanks again for this wonderful opportunity!"


Each year our Spark! workshops, equipping over 13,000 students annually to recognize and stand up to prejudice and discrimination, are rigorously evaluated so that we can continue to improve our flagship program.


Each workshop is evaluated by the classroom teacher, and students from selected classrooms are quizzed to measure whether they're actually learning what we're trying to teach. Results from both are use to make changes to our curriculum and processes.


"I really like the changes you made to the Grade 4 curriculum over the past year or two. I appreciate the planned curriculum and friendliness of the reps."


In the 2013-2014 school year, we presented 482 workshops to 13,887 students. 97% of teachers gave a positive rating to our facilitators, and 95% said they would recommend the workshops to a colleague. We're thrilled that teachers consistently respond so positively to the Spark! program!


This year's evaluations showed us that the changes we made using last year's data resulted in clear improvements. The 2nd grade workshop was slightly lengthened, and facilitators received extra coaching for presenting 5th and 6th grade curriculum, resulting in a significant improvement in teacher satisfaction at those grade levels.


This year's data also showed us where we need to make changes for next year.

"Great time for students to discuss these issues and recognize them in daily life."


A big thank you to all the teachers who gave their time to help us pinpoint what needs improvement. We look forward to another fantastic year in Olmsted County classrooms!


"I thought the presentation was very relevant to our social studies curriculum... I really enjoyed the presentation and my students did too!"



We're Hiring Spark! Facilitators


Present our innovative anti-bias curriculum to K-12 students and help the next generation learn to recognize and stand up to prejudice, discrimination, and bullying.


Spark! facilitators guide students in learning through engaging discussion, short multimedia presentations and fun, hands-on activities. Topics include disability, race, appearance, and Minnesota history, among others.


Facilitators work an average of 5 hours/week during the school year. Schedules are flexible. If you complete the training, we ask you to commit to at least one full school year.


Training: Facilitators will receive about 36 hours of training, including classroom instruction, observation, and co-facilitation with an experienced team member. Two training sessions are available: 


Session 1: Mon-Thurs, Aug 11-14, 11am-5pm, and Sat, Aug 16, 9am-5pm

Session 2: Mon-Thurs, Aug 18-21, 11am-5pm, and Sat, Aug 23, 9am-5pm


Salary: Facilitation and training hours are both paid at competitive rates.


Qualifications: Passion for equity and ability to communicate in English. Job description


Applying: Submit an application by July 7. Resume optional. Background checks are required by the school district and will be conducted for all applicants.


Mayo Clinic Awards $50k Grant to Diversity Council

A long-time supporter of the Diversity Council's mission and programs, Mayo Clinic has awarded $50,000 to help underwrite Spark! workshops for K-8 students, SmartKids parent training, and the Student Leaders Creating Change anti-bullying program. Mayo Clinic strives to embody eight organizational values, and the first of these is respect: "Treat everyone in our diverse community, including patients, their families and colleagues, with dignity." We are proud to partner with Mayo Clinic in making this shared value a reality in our community.



Diversity Council Presents Peacemaker Day Camps

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of RBC Wealth Management, the Diversity Council looks forward to presenting four Peacemaker Day Camps this month at the Rochester Area Family Y and the Rochester Boys and Girls Club. The camps, which are free to Club and Y members, aim to equip middle schoolers to take a stand for themselves and for others when bullying occurs--while having fun! The day camps are an effort to expand the reach of our successful Student Leaders Creating Change after school program, which is currently only available at local high schools.