Posted: July 18, 2002
Celebrate Diversity, a program created by The Houston Chronicle and the Southwest Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League to help children and adults understand diversity, has been recognized with the 2002 Newspaper Innovators in Education Award. The award is given annually by the Newspaper Association of America Foundation.
Celebrate Diversity included publishing the famous Dr. Seuss story "The Sneetches" in the Houston Chronicle, accompanied by thought-provoking activities for children to heighten awareness about diversity. Newspapers were distributed throughout Houston elementary school classrooms. Students participated in the activities and many of them sent letters to ADL about what they learned.
In an editorial, the Chronicle said:
The Sneeches, first published in 1961, is a classic story of how children and adults can learn to respect all human differences and help break down barriers between groups. Some of the Sneetches, you see, have stars upon their bellies, while other Sneetches do not. The story is aimed at younger children in grades pre-kindergarten through sixth.
The post-Sept. 11 period has been called "a teaching moment" for children about some of the world's grimmer realities. In that spirit, The Sneetches can provide some lessons for our times.