The Beloved Community Comes Together at Maplewood Elementary School to Discuss Upcoming Legislation

The Maplewood Parent Support Team hosted The Beloved Community on January 26 in the school cafeteria. The evening was focused on educating parents, families, and community members on legislation that could impact our communities and our schools. Additionally, we focused on empowerment and communication, and our school’s commitment to increasing dialogue between all members of our diverse community, and creating safe spaces that foster authentic, respectful, and courageous conversations.

There were speakers from Equality Texas, The Austin Justice Coalition, Interfaith Action of Central Texas, Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center and immigration attorney and Maplewood parent Hannah Silk Kapasi. Representatives from Texas Appleseed and Black Lives Matter were also in attendance. The panel was moderated by Jared Lindauer, a volunteer with the Anti Defamation League and Maplewood parent. There was translation provided by teachers in the school’s dual language program and other volunteers. The event wrapped up with a demonstration by the No Place For Hate student committee.

The idea behind The Beloved Community was a concept popularized by Dr. Martin Luther King, who believed that people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence could attain the ultimate goal of “genuine intergroup and interpersonal living — integration.” In this Beloved Community; homelessness, poverty, and hunger are not tolerated and racism, discrimination, and prejudice against others are replaced with an understanding that we are all connected to one and other.

Event organizer Camille Smith said “I was so grateful for the support of the PTA presidents and the parent volunteers who helped make this happen, especially Jared Lindauer who took on the role of moderator that my stage fright would not allow me to do. I’m also grateful for our highly knowledgeable presenters and speakers, but most of all to the parents and Community members who came out to participate in this important event. I’m excited to keep the momentum going and continue my efforts to create awareness and encourage communication in our diverse community.”

In the Beloved Community, love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred.

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Maplewood Book Club Kicks Off

By Jennifer Potter-Miller

The newly formed Maplewood Book Club met the evening of January 23 at the home of a parent. We each brought books we were interested in reading but hadn’t gotten around to on our own, and settled on The Whole-Brain Child, by Daniel Siegel. To make it manageable we decided to split it over two months. The book club will meet again on February 13 at Cherrywood Coffeehouse (TBC). If you’d like to join, read the first three chapters and come out for some good conversation!

The Whole Brain Child


2nd Annual Maplewood Parent Prom Presented by Cherrywood Coffeehouse

By Heather Wagner Reed, Juice Consulting

Austin school Maplewood Elementary is thrilled to announce its second Annual Maplewood Elementary Parent Prom taking place at the Spiderhouse Ballroom on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 7 to 11 p.m. The evening will feature live music by The Recliners and DJ Andy Smith, a silent auction, photo booth and much more. The event is open to the public and proceeds will benefit Maplewood Elementary. Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased here:

“Last year, we really didn’t know what Parent Prom was – we just made it up as we went along,” said Elizabeth McQueen, Maplewood PTA Chair, KUTX DJ and local musician. “It turned out to be so much fun, because it was rare time for the community of parents at our school to interact with each other as adults. We got to have a great time together whether people were dancing to the songs of our youth or just hanging out.”

“Last year’s event went down in history as parents came out for a rare night to themselves to enjoy a throwback to their youth, dressing up to the nines and enjoying some dancing,” said Maplewood Principal Vickie Jacobson. “The school hosted childcare while moms and dads enjoyed a nostalgic time on the dance floor and had a blast. We were thrilled with the $10,000 the event raised as well, which helped the school provide technology, additional books and classroom supplies in 2016.”

“We’re able to help raise much needed funds for our school, while at the same time strengthening our ties as a community. We’ve also received sponsorship from J. Ross Buchholtz CPA, PLLC and Bill Holleman at Prime Lending. Both Ross and Bill are Maplewood dads. We feel so lucky to part of such a supportive community!” said McQueen. “And really, that is the best thing about Maplewood, our strong community.”

“This fun and entertaining event demonstrates the positive impact of parental involvement,” said Principal Jacobson. “These events encourage parents and the community to form closer partnerships with our school, and support student learning.”

Maplewood is an elementary school for pre-K -grade 6 located in East Austin. Opening in 1952, the school is known for its diverse student body and its motto “Increase the Peace.” The school is rated exemplary in the areas of overall performance, the fine arts, wellness and physical education, community and parental involvement, digital learning environment, dropout prevention strategies, educational programs for gifted and talented students, its Second Language Acquisition Program and its 21st Century Workforce Development Program.

One of the key attributes of Maplewood is the focus on Social Emotional Learning (SEL), which can be seen daily in the school’s “Peacemaker” program where students are recognized in front of the whole school when doing something good for others. The school’s mission is “to develop the WHOLE child – one who feels valued and is successful within a cooperative, safe learning environment.”

Maplewood also hosts a number of events throughout the year such as Fall Fest and Carnival, Spring Fling and Fun Run, and more. As a resource to the surrounding community, the school is also an official polling location and the venue for the annual Cherrywood Art Fair, one of Austin’s most cherished holiday markets.

For more information on the Parent Prom, emailĀ For more information on Maplewood Elementary School, please see:

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Photos by Jennifer Potter-Miller and Scott Kentros

2017 Maplewood Parent Prom sponsors