It’s the first week of February! Can you believe it? Sitting at home, I often find myself puzzled wondering how it is that the days go by so fast, yet it’s been nearly 11 months that we’ve be dealing with the effects of COVID. Many of us still working and learning from home. It’s been challenging in so many ways and we will continue to talk about that—social and emotional well-being.
But this week, there are things to celebrate. Buffalo Public Schools are opening back up after almost a year of being closed to in-person learning. Children in grades Pre-K through 2 and seniors will be welcomed back into their buildings. I imagine that this brings an array of emotions and thoughts with it. But no matter what your personal perspective is, we know that this wasn’t an easy decision or process. And for that, I want to thank all the BPS staff for the work they have put in to get us here today. Many of us will be thinking of the students, families and staff today as they begin to find a new normal in the school buildings. We deserve some excitement and normalcy after all of this! Good luck BPS family!
Today also marks the beginning of Black History Month. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we continue these hard conversations. It’s never too early to begin celebrating and teaching your child about Black Leaders of yesterday and today. Check out this link for an article on Teaching Your Child about Black History. Cheryl Willis Hudson offers these suggestions to help you connect your child(ren) with Black History:
- Buy a book by a Black author or illustrator and make it a part of your child’s permanent collection. Books offer a fun and easy way to introduce your children to new cultures and to help them explore the experiences of people from different backgrounds.
- Look for books that are inclusive and reflect the diversity of our communities. Books help illustrate that diversity is a natural part of everyday life.
- When and if children ask questions about race, don’t sweep differences under the rug. Give children simple, concrete explanations when they have questions. Select books that affirm a valued place for all children. Try to find books that will help prepare children for the complex world in which they live.
- Make sure your selections include contemporary stories. Celebrate Black culture and experiences, in addition to history, through picture books, chapter books, and poetry.
If you’re looking for more ways to keep the conversations going with your family, try using some these prompts with your young ones:
- Think about the special people in your family and community. Ask:“What makes someone a hero? Who are some Black heroes that you have learned about?”
- Use the activities in the collection to introduce your children to different Black leaders throughout history. Then, ask:“Who are the Black heroes who have broken barriers in history and today?”
- Think about how good leaders act. Find out what your child thinks is important with questions like “What is a role model? What Black role models helped to make the world a better place? How can you be a role model at school or in your neighborhood?”
These are critical conversations to have and you can never start too early. At Say Yes Buffalo, we are devoted to racial equity and inclusion for all of Buffalo’s residents. Throughout this month, we will continue to post resources to keep these conversations going. Additionally, there are more resources available in previous #Homegrown blogs.
Good luck! Stay safe and well and keep the conversations going!
Previous HomeGrown Entries
Week 1 – Monitoring your child’s socio-emotional health during this time.
Week 2 – Learning how to stay patient as a parent is always a work in progress.
Week 3 – Get Creative Stimulating Your Child’s Creativity
Week 4 – Dance in the Rain
Week 5 – Talking with Children About Race
Week 6 – Children and Protests
Week 7- Taking What Summer Gives
Week 8 – Navigating the New Normal
Week 9 – Getting Ready for School
Week 10 – Taking Your Child’s Emotional State into Account
Week 11- New Year, New Routines
Week 12 – Mental Health Over Everything
Week 13 – Grace and Patience During Tough Times