Following the Parkland, Florida school shootings, thousands of students across the country are speaking up, planning marches and walking out of class to demand meaningful government action around gun violence in America. We celebrate their courage and pledge to support their efforts.
As parents, we want to encourage our kids to have open minds and think critically about the world. But how? Even though I consider myself some degree of “woke,” I still struggle with ways to discuss big social/political issues with my son. And I imagine other parents, whatever their background, feel the same way. Luckily, we have resources to help guide us. Here are a few of the most useful online resources for raising socially conscious kids.
Celebrated annually on Jan. 25, Multicultural Children’s Book Day, as the name implies, celebrates kids books promoting diversity. But this organization’s work goes well beyond 24 hours. Its site is a goldmine of worthwhile book recommendations. Need books inclusive of Muslims? Or ones that don’t treat Africa as one homogeneous country? Find lists organized by region, topic, genre and age group.
Worth following for its bold, timely Instagram feed, The Conscious Kid describes itself as an “education, research and policy organization dedicated to reducing bias and promoting positive identity development in youth.” Visit the site for info on #IndigenousReads, Black Books Matter and a critical race examination of Dr. Seuss.
Not sure how to discuss racial issues with your kids? This site offer loads of tips. Written especially with white people in mind, the site offers strategies and even a rundown of “100 Race-Conscious Things You Can Say To Your Child to Advance Racial Justice.” We must teach kids to recognize and confront racism, rather than promote passive color-blindness.
Though specifically geared to educators, Teaching Tolerance offers resources parents can use at home, too. Founded in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance offers lesson plans searchable by topic and grade that can serve as a springboard for deeper family discussion. Parents can easily engage in these conversations one-on-one and follow the thought-provoking extension activities.
Reading about injustices and worldly issues can motivate your family to well, do something. That’s where this site comes in. Visit the WISH Cleveland events calendar to find ways to get involved. Your kids can choose a cause they’re passionate about (animals? bullying?), figure out how much time they have to offer (an hour or less? five or more hours?) and pick from a variety of activism activities. It’s that easy. They’ll feel a part of the bigger picture (millions of other kids have joined) and a part of the solution.