Roots ConnectED, an initiative of Community Roots Charter School, shares best practices in inclusion and integration through workshops, institutes, and consulting offered to schools in NYC and around the country. Community Roots is a progressive K-8 intentionally diverse and inclusive school model based out of Brooklyn, NY. We approach our project-based curriculum with an anti-bias lens and work hard to incorporate developmentally appropriate social justice concepts taught from K-8th grade for a diverse group of learners.
Diverse Inclusive Collaborative
In Fort Greene, Brooklyn, we’ve been learning real life, hands-on lessons about what it takes to build an integrated and inclusive school. Since opening Community Roots Charter School in 2006, we’ve learned that school integration is not a one-time fix and that merely desegregating is not enough. It takes strategic and intentional thinking about how the three stakeholders - staff, students, and families - engage in the larger school community. Social justice and identity have to be taught starting in Kindergarten and staff need to be supported in order to have real conversations with students about, but not limited to, race, class, gender, (dis)ability and sexuality. Families of all backgrounds need to be able to feel valued and seen as a part of the community, working as partners in their children’s education. All of this takes a tremendous amount of work.
Some of the recent discourse around education in our nation is finally bringing up questions of diversity and commenting on how segregated our schools are. While efforts have been made to begin to desegregate schools, we feel this is just the first step towards authentic integration and ultimately, unity in diversity.
RootsConnected aims to bring over a decade of learning to a wider audience. Educators, school leaders, and policy makers often ask us how we do what we do. Through a number of different options, we have created opportunities for those beyond our school walls to benefit from the lessons we’ve learned and join us in building strong schools that serve the needs of a diverse student body.