CREATE (Culture, Respect, Empathy, Appreciation, Tolerance, Education) is a student action group, started in 2008. Co-advisors are Mrs. Angela Della Valle and Mrs. Sue Busch.
CREATE’s mission is to promote a more tolerant, accepting, and inclusive community for all learners. One of CREATE’s primary goals is to cultivate an environment where students comfortably express their concerns, ideas, and feelings, as well as to facilitate healthy relationships among students, staff, and community members.
The student coalition consists of diverse learners who assume leadership roles. Their task is to identify areas where the Upper Merion Area Middle School can improve, and they construct engaging and interactive action plans to address those areas of concern.
Students educate the staff, teachers, classmates, and community members about differences that often cause misunderstandings as well as highlight often unseen similarities between us. CREATE has a three-pronged approach:
1) building appreciation of diversity through the arts (e.g., displays, cultural assemblies);
2) peer education (stereotypes, informative religious, student surveys); and
3) events such as the Speak-Out (winter), the Open Mic (spring) and the Annual Spring Car Wash Fundraiser where a place is provided for student voices several times a year. CREATE also emphasizes parental and community outreach as well as in-house collaboration (such as in the case of preparations for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration and in joint projects with local organizations).
CREATE meets twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays from 3-4:30 p.m. in C112, Mrs. Della Valle’s room (firstname.lastname@example.org; 610-205-8878)