The Children’s Branch is the child component of the Strong Roots program. In this portion, projects and exercises focus on children’s individual and community identities (with particular focus on their racial and cultural identities), and relevant practices of dialogue and communication.
The curriculum is divided into two modules. Within the first module, sessions are focused on the children’s developing social identities and connections. Children engage in projects that allow them to explore and share self-selected qualities and experiences with the group. Shifting beyond this emphasis on individuals, active-learning projects focused increasingly on discovering connections. The connections explored are initially those shared between the children, followed by the connections the children shared with facilitators, teachers, and others outside of their immediate peer group, and ultimately the idea of all individuals’ connections with the different levels of their social contexts were highlighted.
Having established an emphasis on individual identities and group dynamics, the second module of the Strong Roots Children’s Program emphasizes the practice of dialogue and communication as it relates to those with whom we are alike, different, and connected. The children participated in activities with focuses ranging from concrete communication practices, to the importance of empathy and understanding both our own feelings and those of others.