What potentialities in human beings do we want to see develop?
This question from Lucy Sprague Mitchell, who founded Bank Street in 1916, continues to drive the School for Children today. Our work is based on the faith that human beings can improve the society they have created.
At Bank Street, social justice, community, and advocacy are at our core. We firmly believe that our diversity is what strengthens us. We continually challenge ourselves to grow from the opportunities and tensions inherent in people working and learning together.
We take a broad view of diversity. In developmentally appropriate ways, we explore aspects of identity including race, ethnicity, socioeconomics, social class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, family structure, ability, and learning styles. At Bank Street, children become advocates for social justice and allies in an inclusive community. Our work is grounded in supporting positive identity development for all students.
The power of diversity involves adults as well as children. The School for Children actively seeks families, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds who are willing partners in the quest for social justice. Each child and adult should be able to see themselves reflected in the larger community. This commitment is consistent with the progressive idea that schools should represent and improve the society in which they exist.
Affinity Groups at Bank Street
The term affinity group refers to people who share a similar identity but not necessarily the same experiences. The group offers a time for reflection, dialogue, and support. It ultimately strengthens the ties within the community and is central to creating an inclusive and thriving community. Below is a list of affinity groups at Bank Street: