SEATTLE — Two teachers are creating a preschool program for toddlers to teach them the “experience of color…,” as in, skin color.
Benjamin Gore and Jason Frelot will open the preschool in the Seattle neighborhood of Columbia City. They are calling it the “anti-racism preschool,” and the opening is set for the fall of 2017.
Gore told a local TV station, “We’re looking to create the confidence that when these kids go into predominately white schools, that they can bring counter-narratives to the school.”
The school, which is currently operating as a workshop, will teach the usuals — such as singing and reading picture books — but will add discussions on race and racism. According to the teachers, they will be “telling stories that are untold.”
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Frelot said, “When we’re telling stories to our kids, especially about people of color, we want to make sure that we’re showing them stories about people of color that aren’t just about people existing in the past.”
Of course, a Seattle parent loves the idea.
One such parent, Taryn Coe said, “I like the idea of these kids being exposed to role models that don’t look like them. … There’s a lot of Disney princess-culture that happens in our house, and they see white princesses and say, ‘I want to look like that.’ [But] I think it’s really important that they see there are so many other ways they can accomplish things than being a white princess. I like the idea of these kids being exposed to role models that don’t look like them.”
The teachers believe that toddlers can be “inherently sexist or racist” and that, if the school can catch them at a young age, maybe they can change that.
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