Welcoming Schools - A project from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation

Children’s Creative Depictions of a Welcoming School

By , November 26, 2012

Want to know what a Welcoming School is? What better way to find out than by asking students?

We were thrilled to get a booklet full of essays, poems and drawings about what makes a school welcoming or unwelcoming. The booklet was the outcome of an Art, Poetry, & Essay Contest for 4th and 5th graders in Berkeley, The contest was organized by In Dulci Jubilo, Inc., a non-profit established in 1978 to help young people enrolled in Berkeley's pre-schools, elementary and secondary schools to develop values beneficial to the community.

Check out some of the entries below!

By: Zosin Scislowski


“This is Real”
By: Elijah Linares

People don’t like school because they get treated differently,


People get made fun of at school.


Students argue with teachers and the teachers yell back,


People get made fun of because of the way they dress


People don’t like school because they don’t understand the work,


Welcoming schools help people feel calm because there’s nobody making fun of them,


By: Coco Rosos


“I See a School”
By: Conor McGreevy

I see a school that is welcome and worthwhile to all kids.

I see a school where kids and teachers alike have fun learning.

I see a school where things are the same, no matter what gender or skin color you have.

I see a school where there are no worries and no pain.

I see a school way up over the rainbow, where trouble melts like lemon drops.

I see a school where bullying is as scarce as a needle in a haystack.

I see a school where it’s as easy to find joy and life as it is hard to get burned by fire and not feel hot.

I see a school where everyone feels safe, respected and part of the pack.

I see a school where people solve their problems using teamwork and determination.

I see a school with no leaders, only a counsel of everyone, where people decide things by voting.

I see a school for making progress and helping those who need it.

I see a school, not so far away, that’s as close to perfect as it can get, because nothing and nobody’s perfect.










By: Taylor Kempf


“Welcoming Schools”
By: Sonya Love

In a welcoming school, you could have purple skin, but nobody would stare.  That would be because all the students would understand that there are many people in the world, and none of them are exactly alike.

A welcoming school would take everyone into account.  Teachers would make sure that lessons and projects wouldn’t make anyone feel bad about their looks, families, heritages, or anything else.

A welcoming school would deal with bullies responsibly.  For example, my class put on a play about being an ally.

A welcoming school would use the three school rules: Be safe, be respectful, and be responsible.

A welcoming school would give rewards instead of taking away privileges.  In my class, we have the opportunity to earn free choice minutes, but we can lose them too.

A welcoming school would let in people’s differences with open arms.

I think my school is a welcoming school, partly because of Community Meeting.  Once a week on Friday mornings, the entire school meets in the cafetorium.  Parents come too.  Staff members make announcements, and various classes put on performances.

In a welcoming school, you can FEEL the community.

In my opinion, one of the most welcoming things at my school is our recognition system.  When someone is seen doing something safe, respectful, or responsible, the person who saw them doing it can fill out a slip in the office, saying what they did.  The slips are read aloud in Community Meeting.

I think students do better in welcoming schools than unwelcoming schools, because they’re in an environment where they feel better about themselves.

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