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

Q: What can I share with children about being an ally?

A: Helping children understand what being an ally means and empowering them to take positive action to advocate for just treatment of others is key.

The joys of being a teacher and parent includes teaching children to actively support and care for others despite what is popular. These lessons should begin as soon as children are able to interact with others, but a strong reinforcement must take place during the adolescent years.

The pre-teen years are largely about defining identity and discovering how identity is perceived in society. Helping children learn how to support one another, value differences, and cultivate equity in diversity should always be a ready lesson. Historically, adults have failed to support people of color and the LGBTQI+ community, just to name a few. However, teaching allyship strategies can ensure positive changes in our society.

To take a clear and resolute stand against hate is an action that must always be taught. From subtle gestures like eating lunch with someone new, to boldly stating that name calling is unacceptable, allyship is a powerful practice and will ensure everyone has an opportunity to thrive.

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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