In 2013, the Supporting the School Readiness and Success of Young African American Boys Project began in response to national data that showed educational inequality for this group of children. Head Start programs saw an opportunity to address this concern by raising staff awareness and skills to meet the unique needs of African American boys and their families. The Office of Head Start continues to use research, meetings with subject matter experts, and feedback from Head Start educators, child care staff, and families to expand this guide, originally published in 2014.
Supporting school readiness for African American boys begins with a culturally responsive and strength-based mindset in how we view them and their families. This mindset supports a focus on providing high-quality learning environments where adults understand and celebrate the diversity of African American boys within their families’ culture and lived experiences. The strategies in this resource help to bolster the development, learning, and school success of African American boys.
The reflection and strategy resources in this guide are for gaining knowledge, understanding and overcoming bias, seeing essential practices in action, and planning and implementing the practice in individual learning environments and across programs. Program leaders — coaches, education managers, and supervisors — can use them to support the learning and ongoing professional development of program and education staff. Education staff and others can also use the materials for their own self-directed learning.
In this resource, the term African American refers to African, Afro-Caribbean, African American, and Black American boys with partial or complete ancestry from African racial groups. African American boys represent a range of ancestries, languages, religions, and cultures.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning
Audience: Teachers and Caregivers
Last Updated: February 9, 2023