This is a moment where we, as the adults in their lives, must step up.

On Wednesday, we witnessed an assault on American democracy at the US Capitol. Our democracy is the means by which we uphold our ideals of liberty, justice, prosperity, and community. They are the very ideals that create the conditions for young children and families to thrive. They are integral to who we are and what we do at First 5 Contra Costa. 

It is enraging that this attack came alongside blatant displays of racism and white supremacy. Throughout history and up until this current moment, our country’s legacy of racism has put up hurdle after hurdle in giving all Americans a voice through their vote

And yet, in the face of these challenges, our democracy has grown to include more Americans in its representation. This election is a shining example: voters faced a global pandemic, massive disinformation campaigns, and voter suppression here in California and beyond. But thanks to the tireless work of our local elections officials and community organizers, we turned out in record numbers in Contra Costa to vote. 

This week’s events call on us to build on the strength of our growing democracy, while also reckoning with our racist past and present. We must actively work to create a future for ourselves and our children where all belong, are heard, and valued.

As ambassadors and advocates of young children and their families, we at First 5 feel and embrace the weight of our leadership. We are called upon to be the voices and stewards of civility, honor, peace, and love. Our actions and responses today shape our children’s future.

This is why, we must now come together, as a community and as a nation, to defend the democratic values and principles that make possible our visions of liberty and justice for all.” 

Ruth Fernández, EdD
Executive Director
First 5 Contra Costa

 

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Resources:

For Young Children:

Offering comfort (during tough times), Sesame Street
https://sesamestreetincommunities.org/topics/comfort/

Exploring Emotions, Sesame Street
https://sesamestreetincommunities.org/topics/emotions/

“When You Feel So Mad, That You Want to Roar”: Dealing with Angry Feelings Daniel the Tiger, PBS Kids.
https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/when-you-feel-so-mad-that-you-want-to-roar-dealing-with-angry-feelings

 

For Parents, Caregivers, Teachers, Providers

Talking to Kids About Tragedies and Civil Unrest, First 5 LA
https://www.first5la.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-tragedies-and-civil-unrest/

Talking to Kids About the Attack on the Capitol, National Education Association
https://www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/new-from-nea/talking-kids-about-attack-capitol

Struggling To Discuss Tough Topics With A Kid? Here Are Books That Might Help, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2020/12/31/952445588/books-to-share-with-kids-during-tough-times

Resources for Teachers, Beyond the Spotlight
https://beyondthestoplight.com/2021/01/06/resources-for-teachers-on-the-days-after-the-attack-on-the-u-s-capitol/

How to talk to your kids about the chaos at the Capitol, National Geographic
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/family/2021/01/talking-to-your-kids-about-chaos/ 

Racism and Violence: How to Help Kids Handle the News, Child Mind Institute
https://childmind.org/article/racism-and-violence-how-to-help-kids-handle-the-news/