“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is an uncertain and difficult time for many of us. The events over the past week have heightened strong feelings of anger, fear, and sadness. For many in our community, it has brought up long-standing feelings of suffering that some of us cannot begin to understand. As your child’s educator, I want you to know that I stand with you and your families. I believe it is my responsibility, as an educator, to dismantle the racism rooted within our educational system and society. This is an important moment to come together to support our Black community members by reflecting on our society and making changes. We are strongest when we are together. Let’s work together to breakdown the systems that disregard our communities of color.
What does this look like in kindergarten? It looks like teaching empathy, creating a safe environment where students know they are loved for who they are, teaching honest and age-appropriate history with opportunities for students to reflect. Each student that walks through our doors is valued, loved, and respected.
Let’s keep this conversation open and moving forward. I am here to listen and learn.
Not sure where to start in talking to your child? I recommend first watching this video together: Let's Talk About Race
CNN Town Hall with Sesame Street regarding racism airs on Saturday, June 6th (1pm). There are also previous Town Hall – Sesame Street recordings available on the website regarding Covid-19.
Teacher + Parent Resources
Guidance from Teaching Tolerance: This article specifically talks about having courageous conversations about race.
(by Greater Good magazine): Trustworthy practical tips from UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.
(by the Atlantic): Two researchers offer proven and age-appropriate strategies for reducing bias and prejudice in the early grades.
(by Teaching for Change): This list of books intersects with all kinds of important cultural and social issues and will help students build perspective.
(by Embrace Race): These tips explain how adults can help kids combat bias and prejudice and develop more open perspectives.
7 Ways to Calm a Young Brain in Trauma, Edutopia
National PTA: discussing difficult topics with your children
Letter to Emerson families from Author Janet Wong