Just as important as where and how your child learns is what they’re actually learning. And that’s why you might be looking for ways to advocate for a more diverse curriculum in your kid’s school this fall.
I began to realize that children’s books were a way into a conversation that our family had not been having. And it wasn’t just that we weren’t talking to our 3-year-old about differences in race and ethnicity. My wife and I had not been talking about it, either, at least not directly and not often, and this was despite our being a multiracial family.
You might think you’ve raised your children to be open and accepting, only to feel mortified when your 5-year old says she doesn’t want to play tag with two little boys at the mall play area because they’re “too dark.” Such was the case for Michelle Meredith, who blogs at Bright Color Mom and describes her family as “a very pale bunch.”
When author Jesse Byrd Jr. launched his own publishing company in 2017, he aimed to amplify voices that are often excluded in the book industry. “We wanted to offer diverse storytelling for young audiences,” he said. “We wanted the stories we publish to be a reflection of the world that children have inherited; a reflection of different communities and environments. We want to share the non-dominant culture, including kids who are people of color, immigrants, and differently abled. It’s about adding more colors to the rainbow.”
At this point in time, most socially aware parents know that talking to their kids about race is important. But when do you start? Kindergarten? First grade? Or much earlier? This might come as a surprise, but talking to toddlers about race isn’t just possible, it’s important… especially for parents who have the luxury of seeing this as a choice.
Father’s Day has arrived during a moment of reckoning and reflection in our nation. The country finds itself in the midst of a massive uprising demanding racial justice and condemning police brutality. Americans are discussing race in ways seldom seen in the country’s 244-year history, creating a national dialogue that transcends socioeconomic barriers which typically stall meaningful action.
Whether it is your first Juneteenth or your 40th, you can find some opportunities to learn and to commemorate the holiday using the Caribu app. Start by picking a Juneteenth coloring page to work on together and spark a conversation with your (grand)child. To find one, tap the ‘Activities’ tab and search in the ‘Anti-Racism’ category. Select a Juneteenth image, and contact a family member over a Caribu Call. Color in some of the Juneteenth pages together, and share your thoughts about this important day.
“You are more likely to find a book about a dog, a cat or a humanoid than a book with a Black child on the cover or between the pages.” So began a conversation with author B.K. Fulton, creator of the Mr. Business series, a seven-book series based on his childhood experiences. This week Caribu is featuring the second book in the series, The Science Fair, as part of the #CampCaribu ‘Courageous Conversations: Anti-Racism’ Week.
This week, Caribu is launching a summer reading challenge, #CampCaribu! It is the world’s first summer reading program that you can experience together in a video-call. The program includes 100 days of activities, featured books, and weekly themed reading categories with challenges and prizes to keep kids on track for the next school year. #CampCaribu will help keep the kids engaged and entertained while parents work from home and continue to be mindful of social distancing. It’s 100 days of summer reading in your pocket!
When it comes to tackling any tough topic with your children, age-appropriate honesty is always going to be your best bet. “If we want to raise our children to be compassionate people who participate as responsible citizens in a democracy, we need to find ways to talk with them about the thorny issues that we struggle with as a country,” wrote Dr. Laura Markham of Aha! Parenting.