Bdiverse Btolerant Binclusive BNICE
A culturally sensitive, open-minded presentation delivered to your school.
The elementary school presentations of “BNICE with Chris French” help our children to grow up feeling included and loved. We live in a world where discrimination, prejudice and other forms of bias exist, and our children might very well face these in their own lives.
In elementary schools, bias can be an issue for even the youngest child.
Many people might like to believe that young children are completely unaware of bias in the world they live in. But the truth is that even kindergartners can be aware of differences such as gender, race, ethnicity, and disability. At this age, they can also become sensitive to both the positive attitudes and negative biases attached to these aspects of identity, as reflected by their own family or community as well as by the world in general. Young children develop what professionals call “pre-prejudice”, which presents itself in the form of misconceptions, discomfort, fear, or rejection of differences in those around them. These types of feelings can develop into real prejudice if educators, parents and other adults do not take action to support the child through discussion, and teach them by example on a regular basis. BNICE is an excellent catalyst for this kind of positive action. It acts as a conversation starter, a reminder and a new way of thinking about our place in the world through a variety of thought provoking ideas centered on fun skits, activities, magic and music.
What children learn during the early grade school years from the surroundings in their lives will greatly impact how they come to value, accept, and comfortably interact with diverse people. That fact that children recognize these differences is not a bad thing—it’s actually very natural. It’s also an indication that as educators, parents and activists we can begin—even with a very young child—to model positive values concerning the worth of all people, and respect for differences.
Pro-tolerance roots such as identity, diversity and action are all brought up in the BNICE presentation in an age-appropriate way that students can relate to. Students sometimes feel their experiences are unwelcome, judged, stereotyped, disrespected or invisible. They find it extremely difficult to engage in a meaningful discussions of identity and justice issues. BNICE teaches those whose stories and voices are respectfully heard and reflected in the classroom and at home, are more likely to engage life with an open-mind and translate their learning into action.
The basic goal of BNICE with Chris French is to help children develop positive self-concepts without acquiring attitudes of superiority and ethnocentrism. The presentation is values-based as it sets up a moral awareness between respecting differences and not accepting unfair beliefs and acts. The presentation itself is incredibly positive. I feel that it is more important to talk about and demonstrate positive values rather than focus on the negative of what not to do. Studies show that staying true to positive teachings yields more positive results, rather than spending time on the negative in a time-sensitive presentation.
"Wow! What an enjoyable and impactful assembly. The way that this assembly addressed empathy and inclusion, as opposed to exclusion, will continue to affect my mindset as well as our students. This message came at the most perfect time for our school. Since our assembly, we have seen a rise in acts of random kindness and a decrease in negative behavior. Can't wait to have the BNICE assembly again next year!"
- Aaron Haley, Vice Principal - Kings River-Hardwick School