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    Day 1: Classroom Communities

    Welcome to Week 6, Day 1 of Room to Grow! Today is all about helping providers navigate race-related conflicts with their students. These painful experiences can bring up many emotions, and children are still learning how to process those big feelings. Guiding them through the three steps of breathe (calm down), feel (notice their feelings) and share (tell a grown-up what happened) can help them find their words and work through the situation in a healthy way. If other children are around to witness the negative interaction, you can encourage them to be upstanders and allies, speaking up for their peers and standing together in order to help make this world a better place. You’ll learn strategies to share with parents and explore materials they can use too.

    Watch Breathe, Feel, Share.

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mewUHy1LtA

    An additional form of race-related discrimination that can occur in the military is based on the rank of the military parent or the job that they do. This is important to be mindful of as you navigate the various factors that can affect students and cause conflict.

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    Day 2: Provider to Parent

    Today is all about helping White parents have meaningful discussions with their children about racism. Being anti-racist requires action, and caring parents can raise children to stand up against racism. It is not enough to simply be a “good person,” but it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers. There are many meaningful ways in which you can move forward with intentionality, including the continued work of self-reflection.

    Self-reflection is a critical step in the process. You can support parents in surveying their surroundings, seeking ways to grow, and speaking with children about racism. In this bundle, you’ll learn strategies to share with caregivers and explore materials they can use to practice. There’s no such thing as a perfect process, but the resources in this course will help you remind caregivers that even little moments and everyday routines can make a big impact.

    Read For White Parents: the 4 S’s of Antiracist Parenting.

    What does it mean to be an ally to communities of color and how can you model that for your children?

    This article provides a wonderful on-ramp for examining these questions with a practical lens. Having an awareness of historical harms done, and committing to walk a different path as you inform younger generations, is one of many ways to become co-conspirators in creating an anti-racist world. This can begin at home, one conversation at a time.

    Article

    For White Parents: The 4 S’s of Antiracist Parenting

    For White Parents: The 4 S’s of Antiracist Parenting

    By Traci Baxley, Ed.D.

    Raising children to be kind human beings is a top priority for many parents, but being a “good” person is not enough! We also have the power to raise antiracist children. Antiracism is more than believing that racism is wrong—it means taking action against it. The good news is that children recognize unfairness early and they often want to do the right thing.

    Sometimes it feels too big and we don’t know where to start. Here are four ways White parents can begin the journey at home.

    SELF-REFLECT: Think about your knowledge, skills, and awareness around race. This will allow you to talk about race and racism, to identify racism when it happens, and to come up with strategies to counter it or to cope with it. Notice when you stereotype others, and stop to think about it. We all have biases that may have come from our childhood experiences, people around us, or the media. The more we reflect on our beliefs and where they came from, the more we can expand our racial literacy and model for our children to do the same.

    SURVEY: Look around you and notice how much diversity children are seeing in their daily lives. Consider your own circle of friends, your children’s playmates, toys, music, and books. If children don’t see many people who look different from them, it can send a message about what’s important (or not)—but there are lots of ways to change that (see next paragraph)!

    SEEK: You can start with a simple trip to the library to look at books featuring people who look different from you. Expose your children to a diverse range of people—look for cultural events, after school activities, clubs, and restaurants that involve people of different races. It’s okay to discuss racial and cultural differences (for instance, at an outdoor concert, you might say “the music is from [name of country], and lots of people here are from that country. There are many people with dark skin in that country.”) This is also a great way to engage and form connections within your community.

    SPEAK: Talk your children about race, people’s differences, and how people are treated unfairly because of the color of their skin. Don’t wait until the “perfect” moment or until you have all the answers. If children are aware of current events, use dinnertime conversation to explain and talk about what’s happening, what needs to change and how we can all be part of that change, and encourage children to keep asking questions and sharing their thoughts.

    Last, remember it’s okay to not have all the answers! By actively expanding your children’s racial awareness, you’re well on your way to raising the next antiracist that the world needs.

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    Day 3: Fun with Families

    Today is all about helping parents playfully engage with their children as they learn that self-care is a great thing. Military families can bond and care for each other in simple ways that can be a part of daily, weekly, or monthly routines. These activities don’t have to be complicated, just caring! Walking, dancing, playing outside, reading, deep breathing, laughter, playing music, resting, and talking are all ways to practice self-care, as well as bond. What are some additional ideas you can think of to share with caregivers? Regardless of what works for each family, taking that time is worth it. The following video will help you remind parents that even little moments and everyday routines can make a big impact.

    Watch Great Things.

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9CYDrn1IEE

    Self-care does not come naturally for most people but it can be an incredible way to de-stress and bond individually and as a family. Military families carry a particular level of stress as their circumstances can change from day to day, so this would be a great opportunity to prompt your students’ caregivers to engage in one or more of these activities on a regular basis.

    Consider presenting these specific suggestions to parents:

    • Take a nightly walk after dinner
    • Let your children choose a song for a dance party
    • Read a favorite book as a family at bedtime
    • Have a family karaoke night
    • Call a family meeting and give everyone the chance to share the highs and lows of their week
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    Day 4: Professional Practice

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQgwnd7C7jc

    Today is all about helping you further examine your biases and address your own areas of discomfort when it comes to talking about race. Promoting racial justice doesn’t require perfection, but it does require action, and it’s important to model it in a classroom setting. The following video will help remind you that even little moments, asking questions, and everyday routines can make a big impact.

    Watch Talking About Race: The Christofferson Family.

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    Day 5: Questions and Reflections

    As military families navigate conversations about racism at home, providers can also have these conversations regularly. When examining situations from different perspectives of living on or off base or whether or not it’s a diverse community, asking questions that had not previously been considered and making space for listening, are all caring and critical ways to make a difference. This is not about having a perfect approach, but it’s important to confront what you may fear or not understand, in order to link arms in solidarity with those working toward an anti-racist society. Take a moment to reflect on some lingering questions you may have, and the best places to find an answer that celebrates the unique identities of children on the inside and out!

    Congratulations!

    You’ve finished Week 6.

    Thank you for exploring these resources! Together with your furry friends on Sesame Street, let’s continue to build smarter, stronger, kinder communities, one child at a time!