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June 9, 2020

Many early childhood educators are already struggling to make meaningful connections with their young students remotely in the midst of a global pandemic. Now, in the wake of the murders by police of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the brutal killing of Ahmaud Arbery, educators are challenged to find a way to discuss race and racism with young children in a way that is developmentally appropriate, honest, and impactful. This is already hard, but connecting on such an emotional topic remotely with an age group that learns best by seeing, feeling, hearing and interacting– that is a unique challenge for sure.

But, it’s a necessary one. Young children of all races are already being impacted by race and racism and they have questions about all of it. It’s up to the trusted adults in their lives to honor their curiosity, confusion, fear, and any other emotions that may come up, or could be brewing beneath the surface. 

Here are some ways you can start or continue the conversation:

Educate yourself

Talking about race with young children is hard, but it’s easier if you know what you are talking about. This important, ongoing work– especially for white educators. 


Talk about it

Children are not too young to talk about race, prejudice, and racism. But it’s hard to know where to start and how to answer hard questions. 


Show or make a video

Create a video for your students if you are not comfortable having these conversations via video chat. Talk about recent events, talk about what the words protest and activist mean, or read a book that can facilitate a conversation on race and racism. If you are not able to create your own video, show one that achieves the same goals. 


Read a book (or share a booklist)

Books are amazing conversation starters.  There is no perfect book to explain race and racism, but there are a lot of books that inspire 

Implement Anti-Bias and BLM Curricula

If your child’s teacher hasn’t approached this topic in the last week or so, feel free to send them this post!

For more resources and ways to support children during these challenging times, check out our previous post, Helping Children During Unrest .

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