Liza Baron, Director, Early Childhood Development Center on January 16, 2023
When giving consideration to how we talk about anti-racism in early learning, there is an overwhelming agreed upon approach: Talk about it all year long. We have been on a journey in ECDC (Early Childhood Development Center) for a number of years, but most intentionally focusing on culturally competent teaching for the last two and a half years. One of the ways we do this is through ongoing dialogue led by educators, with one another. We, the trusted adults – the educators, the parents, the caregivers, the grandparents – must be in conversation about raising anti-racists. We cannot expect that history alone, or waiting until grade school for that matter, will teach our young children the importance of kindness, repairing the world, loving thy neighbor as thyself, or advocating in the face of injustice. No, this must be integrated into everyday life with one another.
In our classrooms you will hear conversation about race, about our differences, about what makes each of us special. You might see children painting and hear them talking about the color of their skin, and its beauty in all of the different tones we are created with. You may hear stories being read or told, maybe from a book or maybe from a lived experience. You might receive an end of day update with questions that arose or conversations overheard. Children are so curious and so open…qualities that adults sometimes have to fight hard to hold onto.
Today is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. When you have a moment, click here to read about 12 Important Lessons from MLK to Teach Our Children. If it’s not something you’re talking about at home yet, perhaps something you read will resonate with you and encourage a conversation.