For Teacher Appreciation Day — and all days — we appreciate the educators who make our work possible.

Dear Educator,

Today is Teacher Appreciation Day, which is part of Teacher Appreciation Week. At ING we believe that every day should be Teacher Appreciation Day! Your dedication and hard work building the leaders of tomorrow is immeasurable and we cannot be thankful enough for the impact you have on their lives.

At a time when we are witnessing increased divisiveness in society, your role in teaching your students sensitivity, respect, and awareness of the diversity in our community is critical and greatly appreciated. By specifically requesting ING to come into your classrooms or by using our content, your work is helping to counter bigotry for all the following reasons:

  • American disapproval of Muslims has almost doubled from about 26 per cent 10 years ago to 46 per cent in 2016 and Muslims are the most disapproved group in America.
  • Muslim students are increasingly feeling uncomfortable in class discussions about Islam and Muslims or lettings their peers know that they are Muslims.
  • Anti-Muslim hate crimes increased by 60 per cent between the years 2015 and 2017.

At ING we believe the solution is face-to-face engagement and education, which is critical for dispelling negative stereotypes. But we couldn’t have done it without you.

ING owes you a very special thanks for inviting us into your classrooms for the past 25 years to supplement your students’ education and provide them with a more nuanced understanding of religion today. There is still much work to be done to counter the polarization in this country, but together we can make a difference.

We look forward to many more years of working with you to counter prejudice and foster understanding. We invite you to keep reading to see the latest ING resources to help you in your classroom.

“Dear Colleague” Letters from the United States Department of Education

To help provide safe learning environments for students, we have worked closely with the federal government to ensure that inclusive learning environments and non-discrimination in schools are viewed as priorities in Washington, DC. For instance, we pushed for this 2010 “Dear Colleague” letter written jointly by the Departments of Education and Justice that addresses intentional racial discrimination through policy changes. In 2015, we again collaborated with our contacts in the Department of Education on a “Dear Colleague” letter that stressed the importance of creating safe, inclusive learning environments for students of all faiths and none. We recommend referring to them in discussions with other school staff about the importance of a commitment to every student’s well-being.

Learn about Ramadan, Which Begins on May 16th

With Ramadan beginning on May 16th, it’s important to understand how this month affects Muslim students across the country. To view a slideshow presentation and script about the basics of Ramadan, visit our site.

ING’s Educator Resources on Islam and Major World Religions

Below is a summary of ING resources on Islam and major world religions for your classrooms and schools. Lesson plans are written in the context of social studies content standards relating to units on Islam and other religions in the states of New York, Texas, and California. All our material is designed to support inclusive school environments.

Our services are free of charge thanks to funding from local family and community foundations, including the San Francisco Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Rosenberg Foundation, and the Walter and Elise Haas Fund.

Lesson plans, PowerPoints, and media on a variety of topics:

Online resources for public use:

Live speakers for your classroom where we have affiliates. Some of these can be delivered via webinar by ING anywhere in the country:

We hope you find these resources useful. Thank you.