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Good Things Happen Here

At our National African American Parent Involvement Day on February 8th a parent suggested that we capture simple random acts of kindness. Here are a few of the great things that our volunteers have done to support our community.

Ms. Breedlove Is North Side Legend

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Ms. Susan Breedlove

Susan Breedlove is known to many as a pillar of the North Minneapolis community. She engages with community life on every level –she has lived, taught, raised a family, advocated for environmental, educational, and social justice, documented community history and been a keeper of culture on the North Side for all of her adult life.

Through she retired from her post as a teacher at Patrick Henry High School a number of years ago, Ms. Breedlove is a central figure in the Henry community both as a reserve teacher and volunteer. She would probably not call her extra work volunteerism, but as far as volunteers go, she is extraordinary. She looks after details of life at Henry that do not appear in anyone’s job description but are nonetheless key to making it a positive learning environment. From providing potted plants for classrooms to designing culturally educative display cases throughout the building, Ms. Breedlove helps the staff foster a healthy school climate.

She also contributes to direct instruction in the building.

One of her most remarkable contributions is the Daily Almanac she complies, an encyclopedic guide to African American, Native American, Asian, local, seasonal and scientific historical events that have occurred on each day of the calendar year. To often, this kind of culturally relevant historical information is not readily accessible to teacher or students; however, because of Ms. Breedlove’s almanac, such information is always at hand for the Henry community. Teachers in the building use her daily almanac entries for daily warm-up exercises to begin class. It is also published on the school’s website and in daily Henry parent emails. Ms. Breedlove ensures that the students at Henry will see reflections of themselves in their school, will hear echoes of their own lives in the history they learn, will feel on a fundamental level that they are at home in their school.

Additionally, Ms. Breedlove serves as a voluntary mentor to teachers and students who wish to develop projects or units that draw on an area of her cultural expertise or creative skill.

It is not often that a school can enjoy the benefits of having an expert teacher, community member and history keeper at large in the school, day in and day out, but through Susan Breedlove’s tremendous dedication to teaching and learning, Henry High School is able to enjoy this privilege.