The educational system has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. There was not one child in the world left unaffected by the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chaos and confusion loomed over our families for the longest time. That was until we gathered our remaining strength and decided to do something with the time at home that was imposed on us.
During the lockdown, we had the rare opportunity to watch our children attend their virtual classes, do their homework, interact with their peers and educators, and deal with the challenges of remote learning.
The importance of family engagement activities was unexpectedly highlighted, offering both parents and educators the chance to come together and motivate the students during these uncertain times.
We, at The Village Method, have always been ardent supporters of after-school activities with a culturally empowering twist. We were also deeply aware of the importance of family engagement activities long before the pandemic struck.
To watch the world adopt these practices has been wonderful so far. In this article, we’re looking at how we could change the world, one child at a time. Read on!
Reimagining After-School & Family Engagement Activities
Because we love elevating others’ causes, we’d like to introduce you to Harlem Children’s Zone. This iconic organization has managed to bring academic excellence to the children of Central Harlem.
Their restless fight against intergenerational poverty has even reached President Barack Obama’s ears. This incredible, Black-owned initiative has managed to change young people’s lives for the better.
The youth’s road to college was safely paved by Harlem Children’s Zone. They remain a long-standing inspiration for all education-oriented organizations, including our own.
Once again, we can all agree that effective and culturally responsive after-school activities have the potential to pull several communities out of the quicksand of poverty, systemic racism, inequity, and discrimination.
We also believe that our youth should attend extracurricular activities that enhance their Social Emotional Learning skills.
Also, it is imperious that our children are encouraged to explore the rich African heritage that is so massively overlooked by the school curriculum.
Only by getting to know your culture and history can you have an impact on the world’s current trajectory. We believe that this is the ideal foundation on which schools should build upon.
Drawing Inspiration from the Critical Race Theory (CRT)
The Critical Race Theory is still an underrated source of inspiration for all educators who are determined to break the systemic racism that runs rampant in our schools.
The Critical Race Theory is here to remind us that our people are still being treated as second-class citizens, regardless of the apparent advancements that our nation has managed to achieve.
Systemic racism has deeply permeated our society. This is a fact that we must come to terms with.
When it comes to education, the Critical Race Theory also recognizes that the current curriculum disregards the history of our people and instead pushes a white narrative upon our children.
We are also perceived through a deficit-tinted lens, which makes it almost impossible to elevate our youth via powerful family engagement in schools.
It might seem like the gaps are perhaps too wide to bridge and they surely are. However, if we make it our mission to educate parents, educators, and children on what the Critical Race Theory is, we might have a solid chance to diminish the impact of racially segregated education.
Lending Working Families a Helping Hand
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the inability of most working families to tend to their children’s educational needs. All educators should be determined to provide families with safe and culturally affirming spaces that aim to elevate respectful family engagement activities.
Parental engagement is difficult when most educators perceive parents of color as uneducated, distracted, and unwilling to offer their children a chance at a better future.
The tacit discrimination of parents can have disastrous effects on the academic journey of a child. Our youth deserves to witness harmonious relationships between their parents and educators. They deserve to partake in wonderful, memorable parental engagement activities.
The pandemic has taught both working families and educators how to leave aside all differences and come together. The young ones are inclined to perform better academically when their parents are involved every step of the way.
Isn’t it what we all dream of? To watch our children graduate college and lead happy and healthy lives? This is easier said than done and depends entirely on what we choose to do with the time and resources that are given to us right now.
The Conclusion Is…
In order to change the world and infuse it with equity and compassion, we need to inspect the tools and strategies which we currently possess.
Once we decide that our children deserve better, we will do whatever it takes to watch them grow into dependable, powerful, self-aware, and proud African-American citizens.
We, as their parents and educators, must provide them early on with the best programs available. That way, we will secure their shot at a successful life.
There is no other way to do this but to encourage them to become attuned to the wisdom of our African ancestors. It takes a village to raise a child, said an old African proverb. This is what we, at The Village Method, have always strived for.
However, our mission is made impossible without your help. We need you in order to change the world. Help a child by either donating, volunteering or simply spreading the word about our non-profit organization.
We are deeply thankful for your support and look forward to nurturing future generations of intelligent and culturally aware adults.