As the Early Learning Resource Center for York County, and with our nearly 35 year history of serving York County youngest learners, we are dismayed by leaders who discriminate. The rationalization of this behavior through comments such as wanting to ensure balance in books and fears of indoctrination are troublesome. All children and families deserve to be represented in their educational materials and resources. All children need to be presented with honest, well rounded information about our history, a variety of opinions, and encouraged to think for themselves. Anything less, is in fact supporting the very indoctrination and imbalance the school board members say they fear and that they say guided their racist actions.
Community Connections for Children supports and serves all the early education, childcare, and school age programs in York County. It is our mission to ensure that children enter school ready to be successful. We administer Keystone STARS, the quality improvement and rating system for the Commonwealth in 13 counties. One of the PA standards of high quality programs is that classroom materials and curricular resources are diverse so that all children and families “see themselves” in the classroom. A critical component of this work is to incorporate in meaningful ways, the rich cultures and contributions of every person and family, to honestly and age appropriately reflect the realities of the history our country, and to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Community Connections for Children, through a grant from the Donley Foundation, has engaged in meaningful in depth DEI reflection and work. This fall we will offer DEI and Cultural Responsiveness workshops and communities of learning and support to ECE and SACC programs. CCC staff were reading one of the books on CYSD’s banned list, “So You Want to Talk About Race”. A challenging book to be sure, and one I encourage every York Countian to read if they are committed to bringing about meaningful change in our community.
Community Connections for Children encourages ECE, SACC, K-12 systems, school boards, and our entire community to do the hard internal work to ensure that they have a culture of inclusion, respect, equity, and antiracism. Our families, children, and those we serve deserve no less.
Christy S. Renjilian
Community Connections for Children