Check out this clip of RMK in the classroom!
We rely on donations to keep our amazing program affordable for schools!
$50 covers the cost of books and activities for one classroom for the year! A recurring $150 a month donation throughout the year covers the costs of a Diversity Leader in one classroom for the entire program!
Any amount helps us meet the needs of the students and schools!
The shortage of teachers of color is a nation-wide issue that has profound effects on all students. When black and brown students have teachers that look like them, they are more likely to feel connected to their schools, be recommended to honor programs and attend college. Diverse teachers are equally important to white students as school is a child’s first experience of community leadership and the omission of teachers of color can propagate stereotypes and misinformation. Over 70% of white people only associate with other white people. This segregation is harmful to communities and is, in part, perpetuated by the lack of diversity and racial competence within school systems and town governance. Raising Multicultural Kids (RMK) advances inclusion through its overall mission to cultivate racially and culturally competent communities.
Creating a more diverse and inclusive learning environment is challenging for a district when over 90% of teachers in the state are white, so the Diversity in Classroom Leadership and Literature (DCLL) program was designed to do just that. RMK recruits, trains, pays, and supports black and brown college student teachers (Diversity Leaders) to spend time in K-5th grade classrooms where they read multicultural books and create conversations around social justice and the United States’ fight to fashion an equal and just democracy. Since our founder’s youngest child experienced three racial incidents in kindergarten, we recognize the importance of facilitating these conversations early and work with districts to create curriculum to address this unmet need. RMK’s diverse team developed social justice standards and located the best resources available to assist teaching children the necessary language and skills to productively discuss these issues as well as empower them with ways to act if they witness or experience harm.
Prior to RMK’s work with Easton Public Schools, it’s teaching staff and administration were 99% white. In 2020/2021 the lower elementary grades had 39 classrooms (55%) with diverse student teachers visiting once a week. Student teachers not only serve as role models and create essential lesson plans, but time in the classroom provides them the opportunity to explore teaching as a career. All student teachers are mentored and if one decides to major in education, RMK works with local universities to assist their journey and procure any supports needed to ensure their success. In the long-term this program has the potential to diversify curriculum and teaching demographics across Massachusetts. In 2021/2022, we expanded our work to include multiple school districts in Massachusetts.
Program Goals and Expected Impact
1. Increase diversity in classroom leadership roles
2. Provide Pre-K-5th grade children with a multicultural education
3. Within 5 years, build up a district’s internal capacity to support teacher of color and diversify curriculum
4. Increase the number of students of color pursuing a degree in education in Massachusetts
5. Help education majors from underrepresented and marginalized groups receive support and funding
6. Assist our Diversity Leaders in finding a job upon graduation and the districts we serve in hiring more teachers of color
August 20-September 20: Advertise, recruit, and interview BIPOC Student Teachers, which we refer to internally as Diversity Leaders (DLs). We work with key individuals and departments at Bridgewater State University, Stonehill College, Massasoit Community College, Bristol Community College, and Dean and Quincy College to find students interested in the program. We also are willing to work with a district’s BIPOC high school students if they identify an internal person to support our work.
Late September: RMK holds Employee Orientation
Late September-October 29: Diversity Leaders receive 30 hours of training in RMK’s Diversity, Civics and Advocacy Modules, RMK guiding principles, good mentorship practice, multicultural curriculum, culturally responsive teaching practice, CASEL social-emotional learning framework, lesson planning, classroom management, engaging reading techniques, trauma’s impact on the brain and behavior, and trauma-competent practice. Students also visit their assigned classroom to observe the current classroom teacher’s classroom management style and routines.
RMK provides one training per district to Pre-K-5th Grade teachers on cultural competency and mentoring DLs.
RMK provides two parent and community education sessions on curricula and ways they can welcome and support DLs.
November-Mid-May: Diversity Leaders spend one hour a week in each classroom reading a multicultural book and doing an activity. They then spend ten minutes with the classroom teacher on the lesson they provided and how to continue the conversation throughout the week, to give each teacher short but consistent doses of professional development. We aim to build up the districts’ internal capacity to continue this work beyond their five-year commitment to our program. Multicultural books are about race, culture, socioeconomic status, language, ability, and family structure. Students are given a 1-hour video tutorial weekly to review and practice the lesson before they deliver it and have the option to meet with our Curriculum Director as needed.
Mid-May-June 30: Survey student and classroom teachers, paper and in-person interviews, on the program and ways to continually improve it. July-August 19: Debrief on key takeaways from the school year and use this data for planning for next year.
2022-2023 School Year Grant Sponsorship by:
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
The Massachusetts Teacher Association (MTA)
The Massachusetts Cultural Council
The Fradin Silberstein Foundation