Parent and Family Resources: January 2022
We continue to live in a world with a health pandemic and are raising and supporting our children on the daily. We know that loss and grief have touched many of us and we are here. May 2022 offer us spaces and places to grieve, process, and heal.
With this in mind, here is a collection of resources to support:
Cultivating Positive Identity Development In Our Children
The Alphabet Rockers are a group of young artists guided in their creative endeavors by Tommy Soulati Shepherd and Kaitlin McGaw. In this video for their song "Shine" young people delight in the melanin in their skin. An exuberant song to sing in the car and to discuss the beauty of our skin!
Doctor Sadiqa Cash, a clinical psychologist and Johnathan Gonzales, a former state Head Start administrator and parent, engage in a discussion with Andrew Grant-Thomas and Melissa Giraud about positive identity development in our children. Some questions you may want to ask yourself as a parent:
How am I talking about identity at home?
What positive messages are embedded in how I am talking to my child to counter the messages they may be receiving in the world?
How will I work with my child’s educators to ensure that they are taking the opportunity to utilize the assets of identity in the classroom?
Empowering Our Children’s Actions for Social Justice
The Alphabet Rockers offer an age-appropriate 4-part anti-racism course for children 6 and up to experience with their families. The course's themes include: empathy, research, mindfulness, and curiosity. A great way for families to center activism during as we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.
Max Alaghband offers a story of all it is to be a middle schooler and diverge from your peers in thought and action. As you listen with young people you love, share what you did or would have done faced with the choice Max faces. Ask your young people what they would have done. I wish you a great dialogue!
In this excerpt from Race Ahead’s November 30, 2021 newsletter some of the challenges of the underrepresentation of Black speech therapist are highlighted:
What color is your child’s speech therapist? Only 4.5% of speech therapists working with school-age children are Black, which is turning out to be a problem for parents of color, particularly now. “Through research, I learned that children of color are significantly less likely to receive aid with specific language impairment than their white counterparts,” writes Jazmin Towe, as she explains her own journey seeking language therapy for her young son. But cultural questions also loom. “It’s not hard to imagine how many children who speak AAE might be diagnosed with a speech disorder, when a better method would be teaching them how to code switch.”
Parent and Family Resources: November 2021
It’s November! We have almost made it to Thanksgiving Break and we wish you the break you need and want. Here are some resources for this month:
Children can now be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. At one vaccination clinic, this past weekend children were happily getting their pictures taken after receiving the shot. One nurse said, “It is so spectacular watching the children get their shots. It gives me so much hope!” Find information about COVID-19 vaccines for children here.
As children are vaccinated some states are choosing to ease the requirements to wear masks. This Wall Street Journal article offers an overview of what states are requiring as does this article from District Administration.
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and recent years have seen a recasting of the Thanksgiving narrative many of us were exposed to in school. This piece offers a more intricate and complex version of the story you may have learned while this scholar challenges the myths some of us learned about Thanksgiving. As a parent, you get to choose what conversations you have with your children about the holiday, gratitude, and appreciation. One way to begin dialogue is with different media. Here are some options:
A lovely video interview with Traci Sorell about her book.
Ms. Nikki brings the story to life beautifully!
You can join Ms. Melange as she reads the story here. To learn the story behind the story adults may want to watch parts of this interview with Traci Sorell and her editor, Karen Boss. A great discussion that helps us to understand that it takes a community of people to publish a book!
Young readers share their ideas as Monique Gray Smith reads You Hold Me Up. In the author’s note, Monique Gray Smith shares “With this book, we are embarking on a journey of healing and Reconciliation. I wrote it to remind us of our common humanity and the importance of holding each other up with respect and dignity. I hope it is a foundational book for our littlest citizens. A book that encourages dialogue among children, their families, their care providers and their educators. At its heart, it is a book about love, building relationships and fostering empathy.”
In his debut picture book, Kevin Noble Maillard offers us a family story focused on fry bread. The book offers beautiful metaphors about fry bread and an author’s note full of our history and the lived experiences of Native People. You can watch Kevin Noble Maillard read Fry Bread here.