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Early Learning Blog

Representation in our Early Childhood Program

In early childhood classrooms, we create an environment where students see themselves, their racial identities, and their lived experiences every day. They see this in what is taught and learned. Our students are engaged in a culturally and racially informed way because representation matters to our students and families.

The instructional materials used feature people of diverse races, ethnicities, genders, abilities and sexual orientations and represent historically marginalized groups in diverse and accurate ways. Teachers connect intentionally to students’ interests and identities.

“It’s important for students to see themselves and their lived experiences in our curriculum,” said Director of Elementary Education Rachel Gens. “We want the books in our classroom libraries to be culturally, ethnically, racially and linguistically representative of the students in the classroom.” 

At Central Education Center, our ECFE participants have access to the Language Library. Families can choose stories written in their native language to enjoy with their children. As our ECFE educators work with parents on strategies to promote literacy development, families can apply these strategies using books from the Language Library.

Our early childhood staff and families know that conversations about race, identity and lived experiences are important and that everyone deserves to be in a place where they feel represented and seen.

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Students voting for which book to read

Kirsten Thorson’s preschool classroom at the Central Education Center provides students as young as 3 years old with an opportunity to have their voices heard by engaging them in their education.

Representation Matters in ECFE

Shanyn Hill, an ECFE teacher at the Central Education Center, recently had the dolls in her classroom measured to make hijabs. This little step is representative of the commitment that our early learning program has to our District's equity policy.