The United States is a melting pot, and schools are no different. With a variety of cultures come common misconceptions and misunderstandings. Looking for a way to prevent this — and, instead, welcome and celebrate diversity at your child’s school? Use this toolbox. Read on for some simple tips to get you started, plus some key web resources to make it a success.
Tips to get started
- Talk to the principal and/or a social studies teacher about it, and get them on board.
- Start a cultural diversity committee with other parents and invite teachers to join. The committee can make initial, big picture plans for the event.
- Give yourself at least six months to plan the program.
- Decide which countries, cultures and/or faiths you will explore at the event. Be inclusive!
- Include all of the kids. They can choose to focus on their own culture, one of the countries from their heritage, or allow them to choose any culture they wish.
- Ask the most enthusiastic committee members to head that culture’s team.
- Involve as many interested people as possible.
- To increase attendance, help or ask teachers to build curriculum around the event.
- If you want change, speak about how you feel.
Here are some resources that can help jumpstart your program.
- KidsTurnCentral: Learn about holidays around the world in this glossary.
- Concert of Colors: Detroit’s own cultural music festival usually hits down in July. Read about the event, which will be celebrating its 28th anniversary in 2020.
- TeacherVision.fen.com: Geared at teachers, this site offers a bevy of age- and grade-appropriate activities to explore culture.
- National Education Association: Find links to various diversity resources, from calendars to glossaries.
- Teacher’s Corner: Another great educator-geared site with plenty of links to useful handouts and facts.
- Talking About Race: This section of ChicagoParent.com is dedicated to resources that can help parents teach their kids about race, racism, diversity and more.
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