A big part of Maker Jawn’s function is to create safe spaces for program participants to not only learn new skills and work on projects, but also to hang out and chat about whatever happens to be on their minds.
With the unfolding events in Ferguson and around the country, kids have been coming in wanting to talk about what has been happening and why. Police brutality, systemic racism, and civil rights activism can be difficult concepts to discuss without preparation. Educators have been sharing teaching resources on the Ferguson Syllabus Google Doc and elsewhere on the web. To address the specific need to have these conversations in our informal learning spaces, I created a list of resources and discussion ideas that mentors can use to engage kids in conversation during our programs.
The guide links to videos, info graphics, excerpts from articles, and photographs that mentors can look at together with kids either one-on-one or in small groups. It also suggests questions to ask and key points to try and address in discussion when looking at these sources.
The guide is a work in progress that we hope to expand and edit as necessary. If you have any suggestions or reflections about having these conversations in informal learning spaces, please post comments!