On the morning of September 11, 2001, Dr. Judith Myers-Walls, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University, was getting ready for work and watching the morning news when she saw the tragic events of that day unfold. She had significant experience with preparing materials to help parents and other adults talk to children about media events such as those. So that morning, she sent out the paper “Talking to Children When the Talking Gets Tough” over several listservs and promised more specific pieces later that day. However, instead of continuing to send out more email messages, she created a website called Terrorism and Children. Purple Wagon is the latest iteration of the website that was born that day. Purple Wagon offers research-based information, recommendations, and activities to help children understand political violence, cope with fears and sadness when groups are in conflict, and learn how to make peace. The website provides teachers with helpful information and resources that they can use to discuss values related to current issues. The Classroom Activities and Resources section includes curriculum guides that can be used in classrooms with children and youth of various ages. The Additional Links category provides links to websites of practitioner, professional, and civic organizations that continuously launch peace actions. The site also includes a section of Resources for Military Families.
For decades, animated children’s stories included negative stereotypes of indigenous people. Now three new cartoons are reaching children with realistic portrayals on the small screen—where they consume most of their media. In the United States and Latin America, Netflix is running the animated film Pachamama. The Cartoon Network series Victor and Valentino features two half brothers in a fictitious Mesoamerican village, exploring myths that come to life.
Just in time for National Constitution Day (September 17), the National Constitution Center has a new initiative for constitutional education and civil dialogue. Through the Center’s Classroom Exchanges program, teachers engage students in dialogue and deepen their constitutional knowledge.
The 1619 Project,inaugurated with a special issue of The New York Times Magazine, reframes US history by marking the year when the first enslaved Africans arrived on Virginia soil as the nation’s foundational date. The Project is a collection of essays and literary works observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery.