Talking Diversity: The Earlier the Better

The bestselling book NurtureShock discusses the importance of parents talking about race with their children. Furthermore, the book indicates that the earlier these conversations occur the better–“At one moment a study was conducted between first graders and third graders…‘The researchers found this worked wonders on the first-grade children.  Having been in the cross-race study groups led to significantly more cross-race play.  But it made no difference on the third-grade children.  It’s possible that by third grade, when parents usually recognize it’s safe to start talking a little about race, the developmental window has already closed.’”

Spurred by this knowledge New York Public Library’s Youth Materials Collections Specialist Elizabeth Bird has put together a picture book reading list useful for discussing race, religion and alternative lifestyles with children ages 4-8. Ms. Bird’s list is comprehensive, well-researched and is a great place to start if you are searching for quality diversity related resources.


They’d test the air raid sirens every few months. Usually, on Sundays when I was doing homework. Eventually, the tests stopped. Maybe, it was funding. Maybe, it was because we’d forgotten how to react.