Education Matters—Sanford School's Private School Blog

Tanya Graham

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Tanya Graham is the Assistant Director of Admission at Sanford School, a PreK - Grade 12 College Preparatory School in Hockessin, Delaware.

Recent Posts

Finding Great Children’s Books Starring Black Characters

Posted by Tanya Graham on February 23, 2018 at 5:00 PM

With Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in January and Black History Month in February, I have spent the past few weeks talking to my children about classic figures in Black history.  However, this time of year also reminds me how necessary it is that my kids see themselves in the world even when it’s not Black History Month.  Sometimes this can feel like it’s easier said than done. The Cooperative Children’s Book Center found that of the 3,400 new children’s books published in 2016 only 287—less than 9%—featured Black main characters.

As an educator, I know it’s critical for my kids to see themselves in the books that they read. Professor Emeritus Rudine Sims Bishop at The Ohio State University, discussed the importance of children having both “windows and mirrors” in their books, so that they can learn about the world (windows) and, just as importantly, see themselves represented in it (mirrors). There are several excellent blogs and websites that I’ve used to help me find more mirrors for my kids. I was further inspired to keep making Black children’s literature a priority for my family when I learned about 11-year-old Marley Dias, her desire to see more Black girls and women in literature, and the #1000BlackGirlBooks book drive she started last year.

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Topics: Education, Community, Diversity

The Beginner’s Guide to Private School Open Houses

Posted by Tanya Graham on October 20, 2017 at 5:00 PM

From academics to athletics, teaching style to use of technology, and campus facilities to classroom culture, it’s important to get to know a school before you decide if it’s the right fit for your family. One of the best ways to do this is by visiting a school during an Open House.

WHAT is an Open House?

An Open House is an opportunity for multiple families to visit a school at the same time and see the full range of activities that a school offers, both in and outside of the classroom.

WHo should go to an open house?

An Open House is a family affair! Parents/guardians and prospective students are invited to attend an Open House. Typically schools treat Open House as an “all hands on deck” type of event, which means that teachers, coaches, parents, and current students will be available to talk about campus life, so bring anyone who might have questions about the school.

Register YOUR Family for   Sanford School's Open House   November 10, 2017 at 8:30 AM

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Topics: Admission

4 Ways Diverse Schools Benefit Kids

Posted by Tanya Graham on October 6, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Many schools take the time to highlight the amount of diversity on their campus, and with good cause: time and again research shows that all students benefit when the student body is diverse. Below are four reasons that it’s worth your while to take notice when schools affirm that diversity matters.

Reason 1: Working with people who are different than you builds problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
It’s easy to have a conversation if everyone agrees with you, but when classrooms include students from many different backgrounds and lifestyles then all of a sudden discussions get more interesting. Different people think differently and it takes significant mental work for students to listen and respond to those whose experiences aren’t the same as theirs. Doing these kinds of cognitive gymnastics—forcing themselves to consider new ideas and understand unique perspectives—means that students have more opportunities for intellectual growth. 

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Topics: Education, Community, Diversity