PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 8 Humanities: Graduation


Dear Graduates and Families,

We learned a lot this year about ourselves, our history, and the world around us.

From Romeo and Juliet, we saw that just because something has always been (the feud between the Montagues and Capulets) doesn’t mean it should always (or ever!) be.

In The Jungle we realized that no one ever leaves their homeland unless they have to and that the displacement is fraught with uncertainty and sometimes greater misfortune than they sought to escape.

The Great Gatsby cautioned us that you can not (and should not) try to re-create the past (especially when it wasn’t all that great when it was happening!).

Julius Caesar proved to us that power ultimately lies with the people when they organize and demand change.

And finally, in A View From The Bridge, we discovered that loyalty to one’s family and community sometimes requires civil disobedience.

Through literature we have been able to  “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” and while I can’t imagine a time in the continuity of human existence when this wouldn’t matter, it seems more important now than ever.

Here are two things I’d like you to remember and practice always:

  • If you ever find that your success is built on the suffering or exploitation of others, change what you are doing.
  • Choose your battles wisely. You will not win them all, so expend your energy winning the ones that matter most.

It’s been a challenging and rewarding year! Congratulations!

Yours, as ever,

Ms. Sacilotto