Dear North Colonie Families,
On Monday, June 1, I wrote to you expressing the district’s sadness following the death of George Floyd. We know that if we were in school, we would be educating and supporting our children as they process these difficult times. Since that is not possible right now, I wanted to provide you with a curated list of resources that has been compiled by our teachers, counselors, and administrators. Any of these resources may give you a starting point for discussions that you want to have at home.
I want to assure you that North Colonie’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity and empowering all children goes beyond words on a page. While our commitment is rooted in our mission statement, our belief in an equitable education will be evident in the actions we take together.
In the spring of 2018, when we had the groundbreaking ceremony for the new middle school, we announced that we would be changing the hall names to represent the high peaks of the Adirondacks. We knew that we did not want to open a new middle school built on some of the worst impulses of this nation’s past. We were mistaken when we decided to wait to change the hall names. I regret that in the moment I didn’t see that we should have changed the hall names immediately and not allowed one more child to walk in hallways named after the very people who would have denied them their humanity. As of Monday, June 8, we have changed the hall names to Algonquin, Haystack, Marcy, Skylight and Wright. As we finish the renovations at Shaker Junior High School, we are excited to introduce these new hall names to our students when they return to school in the fall.
Thank you for taking the time to read this important message. Please feel free to use the resources outlined below.
D. Joseph Corr
Superintendent of Schools
- Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester
- Grouped by age, this list compiled by NPR features diversity of characters’ life experiences
- A curated summer reading list that celebrates diversity, inclusivity, and intersecting identities
- Children’s books written by black women
- Reviewed list of award winning books
- Overview of books to help your children understand racism and current events
- For older students, the New York Times 1619 project contains a series of essays
Talking to Children about Race
- The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture launched Talking About Race, a new online portal designed to help individuals, families, and communities talk about racism, racial identity
- How to Talk to Kids about Race and Violence
- How to talk to your young child about race
- How to talk with your children about racism
- Talking to Kids about Race, Violence, and Protests
- Explaining racial bias
- What do we say to our children about the recent violence against black citizens?
- A 5 minute video on how to raise children to be anti-racist
- Raising racially conscious children
- A series of short films about identity in America
- A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Prejudice
Supporting Identity Development in Black Children
- Supporting Black Children in a Hostile World
- Supporting positive identity development
- Talking to Black children about violence
- Racial Stress and Self Care
- Developing cultural and racial pride