Monterey Hills Elementary School

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Teaching Tolerance


Dear Parents,

Last week, parents requested resources to guide them in the discussion with their children, about the social unrest that has shaken our Nation.  Parents were concerned about the images their children had witnessed.  Parents of our youngest children, wondered what would be developmentally appropriate to address.  Parents also wondered about discussion starters regarding equality and race.  I thought I would reach out to the entire school in case you had similar concerns and/or questions.  

Last Friday and on Monday, I was able to zoom into meetings hosted by the UCLA California History Project and the Anti-Defamation League.  They provided resources and suggestions for how race and protests might be discussed in homes, as well as, in classrooms.  Here were a couple of important points made in those meetings:

  • Listen.  What are your children asking you about?  What have they heard/seen? Are they feeling sad, upset, angry? 
  • Link the concept of equity to your child's social-emotional understanding.  Children understand what sharing is and how it makes them feel when someone does or doesn't share.  Children also understand what it means to be excluded from activities and how that feels.  Children's understanding of their own feelings can help them build empathy for others.
  • This should not be just one conversation.  To reflect, to discuss, to encourage, and to practice change, one must make a continous committment.

I am attaching a number of resources here, for you to use, if you like. I gathered from some organizations who's mission statements are to build understanding in many different ways:  Teaching Tolerance; Public Radio/Television;  Anti-Defamation League, and Common Sense Media. On this list, you will find conversation starters;  books to read; podcasts to listen to; and suggested kindness actions  or if you do not use Google, I have also attached this same document in Word.  I hope that you will find these resources helpful.

We are a learning family,

Laurie Narro