We Celebrate Pride!
A monthly message from Deb Green, Executive Director
June is the celebration of PRIDE across the country. As many of us celebrate this month, I am reminded that I have the privilege to be myself. I don't have to hide my identity and I am accepted for who I am without consequence. There are people all over that are not afforded that same privilege.
I adopted my daughter 27 years ago from Lima, Peru. As a Latina child being raised by two moms, she was different from her friends in many ways. Her child care program searched for children’s books showing diversity to add to the classroom library (any kind of diversity, but specifically those that represented LGTB or persons of color,) but there were simply so few to be found. LGBTQ was barely a term.
In 1994, across the country, the singular published book about a child with two moms was one of the most controversial topics in the early childhood world. Many programs decided to ban the book from classrooms.
We have come a long way since 1994 in our understanding of the importance of children’s literature in the lives of young children, and in our ability to find high quality children's books with a focus on diversity.
We understand the importance of the phrase “windows and mirrors” when working with children. A window offers a view into someone else's experience and a mirror is a story that reflects one’s own culture and helps with the building of identity.
Every classroom library (and home) should be filled with books that serve as both windows and mirrors. At PIC, the book collections in all our classrooms reflect the beautiful diversity in our program, in our country, and in the world.
As children encounter other family structures and/or expressions of gender, it is important to help them recognize, accept, and respect all types of difference. In the classroom, teachers guide children through conversations and difficult situations that arise among peers who come from different backgrounds or who experience the world differently.
One of the most important gifts we can give our children is to help them feel good about the uniqueness of their family, and themselves.
Every child and family comes to a child care community with different values and experiences. As children encounter other family structures, or other expressions of gender identity, our job is to help them understand, accept, and respect all of their peers. PIC children learn to appreciate, rather than fear, differences and recognize bias and stereotypes when they see them.
Our children gain the language they need to build childhood friendships and other strong relationships throughout their lives. I remind us of the importance of our language with young children and how our words may forever impact their acceptance of others. I will always believe that we CAN change the world through children!
To all our LGTBQ+ staff members, families and friends, you are a welcomed part of our community. And to all the allies, we thank you.
"When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free."