Statement on the Events of January 6, 2021

To our Coalition Members,

In the wake of the recent attack on the United States Capitol, ACT Now would like to recognize the pain and trauma many in our communities have felt as we continue to process this event. As a Coalition, we condemn the rhetoric used to incite this violence and the subsequent actions taken.

We know that young people, families, afterschool providers, and our essential workers have had to navigate the trying effects of the ongoing pandemic, chronic incidents of social and racial injustice, and a fraught political climate that has undoubtedly permeated into our daily lives. ACT Now will continue to collaborate with our members and provide resources for those that work tirelessly to create a better world for youth in Illinois. We will focus on support materials that may help you have critical conversations with your learners, your colleagues, and within your communities.

We are with you. 

In Partnership,
Illinois ACT Now Coalition

Resources For Youth

We Are Teachers: Resources for Talking To Students About the Attack on the Capitol

Children need a safe place to express their anxiety or worries and seek answers that are suited to and appropriate for their age. We Are Teachers has compiled resources for having these integral conversations with students. To review these materials, click here.             

KQED: 7 Books To Help Address and Discuss Tough Topics With Kids

Reading books with youth can help them explore deep or difficult issues, and can serve as a starting place for conversations with children. KQED has a list of seven books that address tough situations and support kids in learning more. To access this list, click here.

Resources For Staff

Beyond the Spotlight: Teaching on the Days After – Dialogue & Resources for Educating Toward Justice

Beyond the Spotlight has laid out several strategies for ensuring that traumatic events do not become a standard or a benchmarked lesson. There is dialogue to encourage staff to speak about current events with intention, care and an explicit commitment to justice and equity. To review strategies for speaking to youth, click here.

Edutopia: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Teaching the Colonization of the Americas

Preparing for the emotions that may arise from discussions of genocide and oppression can help educators and program providers avoid traumatizing students. Edutopia has written an article on trauma-informed practices for the facilitation of these conversations. To learn more, click here.

Facing History and Ourselves: Teaching Current Events

Engaging with current events is an essential part of educating young people to be informed and humane participants in a democracy. These resources from Facing History and Ourselves foster intentional conversations and build your students’ capacities for critical thinking, emotional engagement, ethical reflection and civic agency. To access these resources, click here.

Girls Inc.: Responding to Racial Injustice with a Trauma-Informed Approach

Girls Inc. has written a blog post with suggestions and resources for discussing racial injustice with students, girls, and young people, using a trauma-informed approach. To read the blog post, click here.

Education Week: Caring for Students in the Wake of a Traumatic News Event

Students may not understand the fallout from a traumatic and historic news event and look to their mentors and educators for a sense of stability. Education Week has published an article on how teachers and support staff could address their own emotions so that students can continue learning, especially in a school environment already disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. To read the article, click here.

Learning Policy Institute: Districts Advancing Racial Equity Tool

The Learning Policy Institute has developed a new tool for school administrators and afterschool providers to utilize in order to advance racial equity within the school district or program. The Districts Advancing Racial Equity (DARE) tool brings together what is known about district actions that can support racial equity. To read about and download the tool, click here.

eSchool News: 7 Resources for Talking to Students about the Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol

eSchool News has created a list of seven resources for speaking to students about the attack on the U.S. Capitol building. There are lesson plans, strategies, and grade-specific content for afterschool providers to utilize when discussing this event. To read the full article, click here.

eSchool News Article: Six Teaching Resources on the Presidential Inauguration

eSchool News has curated a list of high-quality resources on civics and the history behind a President’s inauguration. These materials can be utilized in programming for youth interested in learning more about the current political environment and the transition of power. They also may spark a conversation about the events leading up to President Biden’s inauguration. To review these resources, click here.

Harvard Graduate School of Education Resources: Making Space for Difficult Discussions

The Harvard Graduate School of Education has developed guidance and resources for afterschool providers and educators interested in structuring a conversation around the attack on the U.S. Capitol building. There are also resources on trauma-informed practices and on how to talk about racism and violence in a constructive and supportive matter. To access these materials, click here.

Resources For You

Edutopia: Supporting Teachers in a Difficult Year

A new principal shares her strategies for making sure teachers can air concerns about both their work and the health of everyone in the school. To read Edutopia’s article, click here.

Edutopia: When Students Are Traumatized, Teachers Are Too

Trauma in students’ lives takes an emotional and physical toll on teachers as well. Experts weigh in on the best ways to cope. To review the article, click here.

Edutopia: Curbing Teacher Burnout During the Pandemic

Teachers are adapting to a host of exhausting new challenges during the coronavirus. Edutopia asked educators and other experts for strategies to help address this new form of burnout in the spring. The strategies highlighted in this article also apply for these coming weeks. To read about them, click here.