Dear Upham Families,

We have certainly dealt with much uncertainty and adversity in the past few months.  While Dr. Lussier sent the community a letter in solidarity, we too wanted to reach out to you with our thoughts and some guidance.  

The events of the past few weeks have further confirmed our need to talk about race and racism with our children.  Rick Weissbord from Making Caring Common/Harvard School of Education shared the following: “We need to raise our children to understand the history of race and racism in this country and to recognize and fight racism in all its modern forms. That means talking to children in developmentally appropriate ways about why people are protesting and engaging children’s questions.  It means explaining to them that at the core of a just society is the understanding that each one of us is responsible for all of us, that we are all different stories but part of the same story.” His words resonated with us and our desire to connect with you. 

Children have varying degrees of information regarding current news and/or racism.  Therefore, consider starting a conversation with your child by asking open-ended questions such as, “what do you think?” or “what have you heard?” or, if they have not had any exposure to current events, you can start by asking, “do you know what race is?” 

Below are some additional resources to help begin a dialogue within your family about race and racism with the hope that these conversations will continue over the years as your children grow and develop:

This is a children’s story entitled, “Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice”  Listen first to ensure its appropriateness for your child.

Follow this link for additional book recommendations to support conversations about race, racism, and social justice and this is a parent guide to preventing and responding to prejudice.

Parent articles: Talking Race with Young Children and Children are Not Colorblind

As always, we are available to talk further and collaborate together so please reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Mr. Dees and Dr. Hoitash

Principal’s Message
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