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ERIC Number: EJ972308
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0145-9635
Identity, Affinity, Reality: Making the Case for Affinity Groups in Elementary School
Parsons, Julie; Ridley, Kimberly
Independent School, v71 n2 Win 2012
Affinity groups are places where students build connections and process "ouch" moments from their classes. Children talk about the isolation they sometimes feel. The relationships students gain through race-based affinity groups enable them to feel less alone with their emotions and help them build a stronger sense of self. At the same time, faculty facilitators gain valuable insights into ways their school's curriculum and culture can support children on the road to identity development. Schools interested in launching affinity groups for elementary age students of color can draw from the experiences of those who have been traveling this path now for several years. Although every school may bring unique challenges to the table, this short list of goals can guide educators in their program development. This list includes: (1) Conduct a Racial Climate Assessment to obtain useful data about students' school experiences; (2) Facilitate positive identity exploration, self-awareness, pride, and self-esteem through books, games, discussion, and structured play activities that connect students to each other; (3) Provide students with the opportunity to discuss topics of race, identity, and diversity in a safe space that will enable students of color to develop their voice; (4) Encourage and develop leadership skills; (5) Develop accurate language and vocabulary to describe themselves and others; (6) Increase the school's ability to recruit and retain families and teachers of color; and (7) The purpose of the affinity group is to provide a majority experience for students regularly who are in the minority at school. (Contains 3 notes.)
National Association of Independent Schools. 1620 L Street NW Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-793-6701; Tel: 202-973-9700; Fax: 202-973-9790; Web site: http://www.nais.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Rhode Island