The Mankato Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program is having a “Parenting for Equity” course to teach parents “strategies for anti-racist parenting.” The class description says it’s for children between three and five years of age and their parents. The course description also says it will foster “brave conversations.”
The goal of the class is to help create more “race-conscious” children. The class will be using children’s books to assist conversations and helping parents to grasp how their “own experiences and biases” shape their “beliefs and values.” The course description did not detail what books or curriculum would be used.
The description says that the course will be helping parents learn how to discuss “race, racism, equity, anti-racism, and justice.” ECFE courses are designed for children and parents to attend together. However, this particular course will be teaching the children isolated from their parents, designated as a “separating” course.
According to its brochure, some classes have two segments, including time with the child and time separated. During the separating time, the children will “learn with the early childhood teacher and paraprofessional, and practice social skills as they interact with one another.”
The Mankato ECFE page says classes are supposed to “strengthen and support families through facilitation of parent-child activities by a licensed early childhood teacher and parent discussion by a licensed parent educator.”
The Mankato School District has made other moves towards embracing anti-racism and equity. As reported by The Minnesota Sun, the Mankato School District paid $67,000 to the Minnesota Education Equity Partnership to “assess the curriculum and policies in place.” The group suggested that Mankato update its mission statement, values, and have a “list of equity questions to ask with every major decision.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]