The 2021 Robert “Archie” Archuleta Human and Civil Rights Award was presented to Davis School District teacher Adrienne Scott-Ellis for advocacy on behalf of human and civil rights in her classroom at Doxey Elementary School, as a certified REACH (Respecting Ethnic and Cultural Heritage) instructor, and as founder of the “Sewing Seeds of Change” program. The award was presented at the UEA/KeyBank Superstars in Education Banquet in October 2021. UEA Board member Denise Lake presented the award and made the following comments:
“Sowing seeds is what Ms. Adrienne Scott-Ellis is known for throughout the community of Doxey Elementary. She teaches the children at her school that everyone should be accepted for the content of their hearts not by the color of their skin. She teaches them that everyone can and should contribute to their community and country. She teaches them about themselves and those in the classroom. She is constantly sowing seeds of great learners.
“As of March 2020, Adrienne watched with the rest of us as our nation had riots and killings of black and brown people everywhere. Like the rest of us, she began to worry about the students she teaches…about what they were watching, what they were hearing and what they were doing about it. When school was out for the summer, Adrienne decided she must do more for her students and for the community. She attended a city council meeting and granted permission to use the land next to city hall for a community garden.
“The Community Garden brought together people. People who had a desire to help others and sow their own seeds. People began to have conversations about what they were seeing, to question what more they should be doing. Throughout the summer the garden grew and so did the desire to see change. Members of the community came to find out more about the garden. This led to more conversations. When harvest time rolled around, the garden produce was plentiful. Baskets were donated to those who lived close to the garden and to elderly who could not get out. Those who helped at the garden began to see a change attitudes and beliefs. Sowing seeds at the garden began to open people’s hearts and minds.
“Adrienne could not stop there. She needed her students to see that they as fourth graders could make a difference as well. Adrienne applied for a grant to purchase and build a greenhouse on the school campus. She is now teaching her children about sowing seeds of other kinds. They talk about how to help those around them. She has her students talking about helping each other. Her classroom has become the community that we all would love to live in.
“It is my honor to present a 2021 UEA Robert “Archie” Archuleta Award for Human and Civil Rights to Adrienne Scott-Ellis.”