Preschoolers celebrate the ways they're both alike and unique with a story and self-portrait craft.
Since 2010, Skokie Public Library has partnered with a number of local organizations and libraries on an initiative called Coming Together in Skokie and Niles Township, an annual project that focuses on a different culture or major ethnic group in our community each year. The project serves as a catalyst for celebration, conversation and education about identity. Last year's program was titled Voices of Race, and this year's program, ¡Viva!, focuses on Hispanic and Latino cultures. (The Voices of Race program won ALA's 2015 Excellence in Library Programming Award.)
While brainstorming about programs for young children to tie into Coming Together, I remembered recently going through a stack of my own boys’ artwork from several decades ago; I had come across a paper plate decorated to look like a face, and the label on the back read “peach-cinnamon.” I remembered the wonderful Cherry Preschool program where my now 6-foot-2-inch, 27-year-old son came home telling me proudly that he was “peach-cinnamon” and his friend was “caramel-chocolate.”
Starting with a Story
Exploring Identity through Art
Then everyone received a smock, paintbrush, paper plate, small cup and craft sticks for mixing paints. We set out eight multicultural paint colors (available from a variety of sources, including Discount School Supply) on each table, and then we helped kids mix colors that matched their skin tones.