Q: Is racial equity training necessary in early childhood education?

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One of my favorite episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is when Mr. Rogers invited Agent Clemmons to rest and cool his feet next to him in a kiddie pool. At the end of their time together, Mr. Rogers dried off Officer Clemmons’ feet in a show of humility and racial equality.

The episode aired in 1969, during one of this country’s most tumultuous times regarding race relations. And yet, a beloved PBS children’s show took a clear stand against racial segregation that would impact families for years to come. Blacks were still banned from swimming in public pools. However, Constable Clemmons was welcomed into Mr. Rogers’ pool.

Public media lead the way by providing trusted educational resources and direct community engagement, including professional development. This commitment continues with the WKAR-sponsored Ingham County Early Years Racial Equity Cohort. The cohort facilitates free racial equity trainings for caregivers and educators working in the early years system in collaboration with Michigan Department of Education, Ingham Great Start Collaborative and Advice in preparation for school.

Available June 8 through June 25, topics include:

  • Racial equity in early childhood
  • Having difficult conversations about race
  • Equitable Voices: Knowledge Funds
  • Impact of incarceration

Free trainings sponsored by WKAR are available at miregister. MiRegistry is an all-in-one professional development resource that supports members of Michigan’s early childhood and school-age workforce. Registration is mandatory.

Good learning,

Ms Pizzo

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