Updated: Nov 4
As educators, we have the privilege to enrich the minds of little learners every day. Helping them gain a better understanding of new concepts, happenings, and the world around them. This is inclusive to celebrating diversity all year round, but especially during the month of February as we explore the achievements and contributions of Black people from around the world within their fight for justice and equality.
Reading picture books of Black leaders throughout history, Black culture and bringing art pieces into the classroom are all very tangible ways for young minds to empathize with the lived experiences and resiliency of Black women and men over time. Seeing these learning concepts throughout our classrooms that then transpired into beautiful creative moments, are a great example of how to introduce Black History Month, to toddlers and preschoolers.
February is a month to celebrate, but it is also a time to acknowledge that racism still exists. Black History Month is a time for us to recommit to the ongoing work of ensuring that all children, including Black and racialized children, have the same opportunities to succeed.
Toddler 1 celebrated many great Black scientists, artists, and activists, by crafting everyday objects and tools that would not be part of our world, without the creativity and genius of Black inventors. They also created a little library in their cubby area, encouraging everyone that enters their room to pick up a book and learn some new facts about important Black figures.
Toddler 2 learned about Garrett A. Morgan, who invented the three-position traffic signal on Nov. 20, 1923. The educators helped to convey meaning to their toddlers by sharing the emotion attached to each stoplight colour.
Preschool 1 talked about several different Black people who led moments of change throughout history, including the first Black woman to fly to space, Mae Jemison, and activist Martin Luther King Jr. The educators linked his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, to the children's very own dreams, to help them connect their personal experiences with the lived experiences of Black women and men over time.
Preschool 2 demonstrated creativity in several different mediums, as they explored the ways in which Black people have impacted science and technology in our world.
The Kindergartens made paper plate peace signs using multi-cultural skin tone paints, to demonstrate that peace and kindness transcend race.
We love seeing how each classroom has highlighted the achievements and successes of Black people in ways that support diversity and inclusion for young minds. Sharing the stories and triumphs of Black men and women remind us all how critical it is to never stop learning, and never stop speaking about the great resilience in them all.
The school agers learned about Black History through the love of literature. They read books depicting the life and accomplishments of important Black figures through time, and also did their own research, compiling the information they learned into self-made fact books, comic books and picture books.
As How Does Learning Happen tells us, “Children demonstrate a sense of belonging when they notice similarities and differences between self and others and respond positively to the uniqueness, differing capabilities, and perspectives of others.”
Educators at LCCC play an important role in supporting children’s learning, development, health and well-being. We know that children thrive in programs where they and their families are valued. We know that educators play a critical role in reducing barriers and creating environments and experiences that are meaningful and engaging. We encourage you to continue the important work started in February throughout the entire year by breaking down stereotypes and support belonging, well-being, engagement and expression for children, families and educators.