Our country is suffering. As we navigate a “new normal,” as a result of a national pandemic, my heart breaks over the injustice and inequity that has plagued our nation for centuries. The recent death of George Floyd and countless others is wrong and intolerable. We can do better. For our children and for the future of our country, we must do better.
To my black friends and neighbors, although I know I will never fully understand, please know that I stand with you. I lift you and your families up in prayer. I will continue to implement an anti-bias classroom when teaching my young daughter and learners across our country. I care about you. You are not alone.
I stand with the peaceful protesters and pray that justice will be served, progress will be made and no more innocent lives will be lost.
The Anti-Bias Curriculum– My interest in the anti-bias curriculum began when I was taking graduate courses in curriculum and instruction some twenty years ago. As an early childhood educator who taught in a diverse classroom (with multiple races, languages and cultures represented), I needed help in creating a better environment for my students and wanted to become the teacher they deserved. Louise Derman-Sparks and her contributions to the anti-biased curriculum caught my attention. Derman-Sparks challenged me to reflect on my own practices and to do better. I implemented changes in my classroom and began to look at life in a new way, embracing opportunities to discuss our differences and having natural conversations with my inquisitive students. I examined my curriculum, restructured my classroom library (making sure I included books that represented the diversity in my classroom and not just books about animals and white people) and I discontinued celebrating “traditional kindergarten holidays” that were culturally inappropriate.
“Because the realities of prejudice and discrimination begin to affect children’s development early. It IS developmentally appropriate to address them in our work with young children.” A quote by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen-Edwards
Below are some resources for families and educators
On the subject of race. This is simply a sample as there is a wealth of material available. I invite you to share the websites and resources you are using with the children in your life by clicking on the comment section.
The above graphic was put together by Pretty Good Design. CLICK HERE for a list of resources on their website in talking to your young children about race. Don’t be silent!
I watched this Zoom discussion titled, “Talking to Kids About Racism” a few days ago. Led by Dr. Kira Banks, with a panel of both black and white participants. I found the discussion helpful. CLICK HERE to watch.
Embrace Race– The Embrace Race website contains articles, lists and action guides to help us raise a generation of children who are thoughtful, informed and Brave About Race!
We Stories– We Stories engages white families to change the conversation about and to build momentum towards racial equity in St. Louis through the use of children’s literature and discussion. We Stories just launched their first national cohert.
Inclusive Story Time– A website with information on children’s literature that contains diverse characters, authors and illustrations, Inclusive Story Time helps you raise conscious kids by diversifying your bookshelf.