"If we teach children to recognize injustice, then we must also teach them that people can create positive change by working together...Through activism activities, children build the confidence and skills for becoming adults who assert, in the face of injustice, 'I have the responsibility to deal with it, I know how to deal with is, I will deal with it" said Louise Derman-Sparks and the Anti-Bias Curriculum Task Force (authors of the Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children, published by NAEYC in 1989!).
Given these challenging times of hate rhetoric during the election campaign, and executive orders (like the Mulim ban) and potential policy changes (like repealing the Affordable Care Act, among others) affecting millions of families and children, young children are not immune to being impacted by stress.
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s 2016 report: The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on our Nation’s Schools (April 2016), included responses by over 2,000 teachers, including some early childhood teachers reporting the impact of the hate rhetoric pervasive in the media on their students. One teacher wrote, “A PreK student woke from afternoon nap and had had a nightmare that Trump had come to get her family” (pg 57), and in Tennessee, a kindergarten teacher reported that “a Latino child—told by classmates that he will be deported and trapped behind a wall—asks every day, ‘Is the wall here yet?’? (Executive Summary Pg 5).
Ann Pelo and Fran Davidson, in their book, "That's Not Fair! A Teacher's Guide to Activism with Young Children" write, "Children do indeed want to be change makers. As children go about their work of noticing differences, they also recognize the inequity inherent in some of those differences and want to do something about it. They want to be activists!"
Let's gather together as early childhood educators (adults working with children birth-age 8 or so) to discuss this book's ideas (reading the book is NOT required to attend!). This will be a FREE discussion, and mini-professional development workshop, as well as an opportunity to build community among like-minded early childhood educators. (Note: Suggested donations of $1-2/per person is encouraged, but not required.)
Here's the link to the book if you'd like to purchase it. Again, NO reading required to attend!