*I received free copies of Jeni So Many & Mixed Feelings in exchange for a review. I only promote books and products that I would use myself, so my reviews & opinions are honest ones.*
Now that I have a (biracial) kindergartner of my own, I pay extra close attention to her surroundings at school. Is she the only minority in her class? Are diverse books included in his/her classroom or library? Are there other parents in interracial marriages that I can relate to?
As an educator, I know what to look for to help her have the most well-rounded educational experience as possible. Do you know what to look for?
Here are a few tips for advocating for the needs of your biracial kids in school:
Encourage Your Child’s Teacher to Have a Diverse Set of Books in His/Her Classroom
Representation is important!
Kids love to see people who look like them on tv, in print, and in person. Help educators challenge the single race approach to diversity.
There are a variety of publishing companies and authors that saw this need for biracial kids and filled it. One such author is Teja Arboleda. He wrote Jeni So Many & Mixed Feelings.
Both books are perfect for (older) elementary aged students. They are filled with bright colors and engaging story lines.
Mixed Feelings is a compilation of short stories geared specifically for biracial & multiracial kids and their families.
Volunteer to Read Books with Diverse Characters to Your Child’s Class
If the teacher is resistant to adding to his/her collection, or they aren’t sure where to start, bring the diversity to the classroom yourself! Talk with other parents about adding to the teacher’s classroom library.
I don’t know a teacher who would refuse a few minutes of solace in exchange for a parent reading to the class. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved!
Participate in Multicultural Events at the School
Many schools have some sort of multicultural celebration. Volunteer to cook some ethnic foods or share about your culture.
Use every opportunity to educate other parents & educators.
Make a Decision at Home about How your Child Will Identify
Why is this important? When enrolling your child, there are multiple forms that require you to check race. At some point, your child will have to make a choice about their identity.
If you don’t have the conversation about identity at home, it will come up at school. Don’t you want to be the first one to have that discussion with your child?
Be Actively Involved in Your Child’s Education
This is important no matter the ethnicity of your child. Unfortunately, teachers tend to work a little harder for kids whose parents are actively involved in their education.
Right or wrong, this is the truth.
Take time to meet your child’s teacher and have open communication with them.
Do you have a biracial child in school? What advice would you give other parents? To find out more about the author, head over to Entertaining Diversity.