We know that about 85 percent of the brain develops between ages 3 and 5 and that impressions and ideas formed between ages 2 and 4 are lasting. How important is early intervention? One recent study found that almost 50 percent of children had racial biases by age 6.
Fortunately, research also proves that when young children have positive, interactive experiences as part of their regular environments, they not only develop an appreciation of themselves, but also an appreciation of people who are physically and culturally different from themselves.
The Initiative's anti-bias workshops instruct educators and families how to teach appreciation and understanding, and foster children's abilities to respect differences in themselves and others. Trained facilitators deliver workshops to early childhood caregivers, educators, and families. Facilitator techniques such as small and large group discussion, role plays, videos, case studies, and goal setting increase participants' understanding of bias and discrimination.
In addition, the workshop activities and resources assist educators and family members in developing awareness of their own biases and ways they transfer those biases to children. Tools to effectively interrupt acts of bigotry, as well as additional print resources, are also distributed for use in school and at home.