Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Does your child know what happened today?

Talk to your child about the significance of the events of January 20, 2009. Talk to him about what it means to have an African-American president in the US. Explain why so many people were waiting and watching on this day. Why it's so important not just to the US but to Canada, to the world.

This is a moment to bring your child into history. Explain the electoral process - teach them how to spell "inauguration." And "Obama." And "hope."

Listen to Obama's inaugural speech together and explain some of the profound things he talked about. The global crises. The ways in which Americans and Canadians and other citizens of the world were asked to come together. The role religion played in his speech. The reason he mentioned his father, 60 years ago, not being served in a restaurant; his son now president.

Literacy is more than words. It is an understanding of world events, and people who are helping to shape our world. Talk with your kids about this, and listen to what they say. Help them understand so they can embrace our history, and our future.

We can't be cynical, or cool about the importance of this day. It's historical, it's important, it's significant. Bring your child into it.


Michele K. said...

I was shocked. Shocked. I was talking to a friend who mentioned her 13-year-old daughter had *no idea* about what it meant to have an African-American president, or even who Martin Luther King Jr. was. The mother had to scramble to pick up the slack and show her daughter anything she could to try to educate her in time for Inauguration Day.
But I am still shocked to think the daughter's school hadn't explained the historic implications of this special time.

GG said...

My granddaughters are of mixed race ( the little one, age 2, says "Daddy!" when Obama appears on TV). My daughter has been trying to explain to the older girl (5) about the implications of this presidential election and why Mommy was crying as they watched it on TV. "In the past this country was different and not so fair. This proves that if you work hard you can be anything you want " said my daughter. "Oh good" said my granddaughter "I want to be the Tooth Fairy"

Joyce Grant said...

That's pretty cute!
Let me know if it works out for her (I'd love to know what that job pays...)