April Cultural Awareness and Recognitions
April Cultural Awareness and Recognitions: Arab American Heritage Month, Autism Acceptance Month, Month of the Military Child, National Volunteer Month
In the Snohomish School District and community, we honor and recognize our diversity. Please join us this April as we acknowledge Arab American Heritage Month, Autism Acceptance Month, Month of the Military Child, and National Volunteer Month. As a reminder, though these months may be designated as times for specific recognitions, we encourage honor and recognition of our culture and diversity throughout the year.
Arab American Heritage Month was first nationally recognized in 2021. Estimates are that 3.7 million Americans have Arab roots and, in the Snohomish School District Arabic is the fifth most spoken language. The recognition coincides with Ramadan, a holy month of fasting, introspection and prayer. The end of Ramadan is celebrated with a three-day festival known as Eid al-Fitr, one of Islam’s major holidays. During this time, Muslims around the world will fast from dawn to sunset as part of their spiritual practices. If you or your student need support during Ramadan, please do not hesitate to reach out to your teacher or principal.
Autism Acceptance Month is also recognized in April. The first national recognition occurred in 1972 with Autistic Children’s Week. Christopher Banks, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America, expressed the following about moving from awareness to acceptance: “While we will always work to spread awareness, words matter as we strive for autistic individuals to live fully in all areas of life. As many individuals and families affected by autism know, acceptance is often one of the biggest barriers to finding and developing a strong support system.” This year also marks the 15th annual World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.
The Month of the Military Child was first recognized in April of 1986 as a time to acknowledge children for their selflessness and sacrifice as they serve our country as part of a military family. According to Military One Source, the theme for 2022 is focusing on the overall mental health and well-being of military children of all ages and providing support to help military families thrive. The Military Child Education Coalition provides information and resources for children, parents, and educators to support children in military families.
National Volunteer Month and Global Volunteer Month are dedicated to honoring the importance of volunteers and their contribution of service. Beginning as National Volunteer Week in 1974, participation and activities continue to grow exponentially each year. This year, the week is being held April 17-23.
For more information on recognitions throughout the year please check out this link from pta.org.