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Robin Pizzo, WKAR director of education, responds to frequently asked questions from parents and educators

Q: Is racial equity training needed in early childhood education?

WKAR FAMILY FAQ Early Childhood Racial Equity Series.png
Image courtesy of Ingham Early Childhood Racial Equity Training Cohort.
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A: Absolutely, which is why WKAR is sponsoring four ECE racial equity trainings in June.

One of my favorite episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is when Mr. Rogers invited Officer Clemmons to take a rest and cool his feet alongside him in a kiddie pool. At the end of their time together, Mr. Rogers dried Officer Clemmons’ feet in a show of humility and racial equality.

The episode aired in 1969, during one of this nation’s most tumultuous times concerning race relations. And yet, a beloved PBS children’s show took a clear stand against racial segregation that would impact families for years to come. Black people were still prohibited from swimming in public pools. However, Officer Clemmons was welcomed in Mr. Rogers’ pool.

Public media leads the way in providing trusted education resources and direct community engagements including professional development. This commitment continues with the Ingham County Early Childhood Racial Equity Cohort sponsored by WKAR. The cohort facilitates free racial equity trainings for caregivers and educators working in the early childhood system in collaboration with Michigan Department of Education, Ingham Great Start Collaborative and School Readiness Consulting.

Available June 8 – June 25, topics include:

  • Early Childhood Racial Equity  
  • Having Hard Conversations on Race  
  • Equitable Voices: Funds of Knowledge  
  • Incarceration Impact  

The free WKAR sponsored trainings are available on miregistry. MiRegistry is an all-in-one professional development resource supporting members of the Michigan early childhood and school-age workforce. Registration is required.

Happy Learning,

Mrs. Pizzo

Robin Pizzo leads the education outreach efforts of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University, the PBS and NPR affiliate serving Michigan's capital region. Robin convenes partnerships and coordinates station initiatives such as WKAR Family and Ready to Learn to bring workshops, learning tools, and other resources into the community to help kids be resilient, lifelong learners.
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