Fred Rogers, a lifelong champion of young children, once said, "In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers." Right now, Teaching Strategies is listening with our ears and hearts to the voices of Black communities, educators, families, and children. We support an end to systemic racism in America that has contributed to the tragic outcomes we have witnessed in recent weeks. The death of George Floyd has reignited the fight for justice and amplified the cries for an end to structural and institutional racism in communities across the country. We are here to say we see you and we stand with you.
As a company that has always been committed to empowering and inspiring educators as they teach and care for our youngest citizens, we are asking critical questions of ourselves and our leaders: How can we contribute to making the world a kinder, more inclusive place? How can our work make a difference?
As we reflect internally, we acknowledge we cannot stay on the sidelines and wait for solutions to come about on their own. We must actively engage in searching for a solution by offering up our collective knowledge, skills, and experiences to help accelerate the work on social justice.
Most immediately, we are committed to helping teachers navigate these difficult issues with our youngest learners and their families. Talking about the subjects of civil unrest, activism, and racism can be complex, but now more than ever, we must openly embrace and encourage these conversations.
We encourage our community to lean on the resources below:
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children. A suite of articles and books on how to be a helper when children need help coping with stress-inducing events. It includes suggestions on what you may do if the stress children feel is being exhibited in behaviors that make you concerned.
- Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice This children’s book is part of the Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) Social Emotional Learning Collection and its purpose is to encourage conversations with young children on the topic of race.
- Zero to Three. This resource provides thoughts and guidelines for talking about the complex issues of racism and equality in age-appropriate ways with children aged two to five years of age.
- Head Start Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center. The Promoting Empathy, Understanding Trauma two-part webinar is part of the Office of Head Start’s Safe Foundations, Healthy Futures Campaign. It is designed to help teachers understand the impact of trauma on children’s behavior, their social and emotional well-being, and the health and wellness of adults in children’s lives.
- ReadyRosie™, our family engagement tool, offers advice from experts on children’s health that you can share with families:
- Select Intentional Teaching Experiences from The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool that can strengthen trust and relationships as we look to help children put words to their feelings. Actively listening to and helping children talk about their feelings is more important than ever now as children are being exposed to images, dialogue, and tensions that very well may be overwhelming.
At the heart of our work is a genuine belief that all our children deserve to feel a sense of belonging, safety, acceptance, and love. And we will not quit until all includes each.