Alexandria Scott – February 24, 2022
About 3 years ago, I had some experiences with my oldest daughter that helped cement for me the vital importance of an education rich with not just diversity education but anti-bias/anti-racism education and decolonized history/social studies – and that education needs to start early. As a Black mother, this had always been a strong focus for me but as a busy parent of three young kids, I needed structure to make sure as a parent, I was doing my job.
When you live in a society where we’re all “breathing in the smog of racism” as Dr. Beverly Tatum says, one-off conversations are not enough. I needed access to consistent, recurring and reliable resources. I needed content that I could hold in my hand and guide my child. I needed help finding the words to explain some of the darkest corners of our society in a way that wouldn’t scare my young children, wouldn’t diminish their self-esteem and that wouldn’t be too overwhelming for me as I waded through my own racial trauma. I needed something that would empower them and encourage their love for themselves and others around them while still giving them real history and help them examine real societal inequalities – and in a developmentally appropriate way. But, I never really learned this in school. I think a lot of parents and educators have similar feelings and experiences. We all want to teach our kids, but maybe we need a little extra help.
I started looking for that extra help, I came up short. So, I decided to create something for my own kids and in the end, chose to share it with more families! The result is Ditto Kids!
Research has found that babies and young children start forming their views of race, and what it means and who is in the “in or out” group as young as six months of age. By preschool, kids already have views of race that are fairly aligned with the general societal views. Ditto Kids magazine was made to help parents and teachers interrupt the negative messages that kids are absorbing at a young age, write a new narrative and help families and communities do their part, however big or small, to help create a more kind, just and equal world.
Ditto Kids is organized according to our anti-bias/anti-racist goals. These goals are:
- self-love and self-respect
- love and respect for others
- the ability to recognize inequality
- the tools to address it in ourselves
- the tools to address it around us and continuing education.
Ditto Kids is an 8.5 x11 matte, non-scuff, soft touch, perfect bound magazine. It is 64 pages in length and printed on certified Forest Stewardship Council paper with vegetable-based inks. Each issue of Ditto Kids magazine includes:
- Beautiful, original artwork created by a variety of illustrators and artists.
- Educational, compelling, and tone-appropriate activities given the nature of some of the content.
- A short section to help parents and caregivers as well.
- A kids art section and featured “Ditto Kiddo” bio.
- Meaningful stories, history and information shared in a beautiful way.
- Scaffolded content to ensure that these conversations that are sometimes hard to work through are done in a specific order and pacing. Each issue builds on the last. Start with issue one! We’re a curriculum supplement in an accessible magazine form!
- Printable PDFs of the activities to make Ditto Kids easier to use for families of multiple kids and teachers.
- And much more in the future!
We’ve grown during the last year and are now releasing issue three! We look forward to finding a place of value in your home as you guide your family towards creating more peace and justice in our world.
Alexandria Scott is a mother of four, community advocate, writer and the founder of Ditto Kids. She loves spending time with her family, in nature, especially near water; loves a good book and the thrill of starting new projects.