Paper plate self-portraits with vibrant crayon sketches of preschool girls and boys line up along a wall at Upbring School of Arts and Sciences (USAS) in Austin to commemorate Juneteenth. This week, Juneteenth—a combination of “June” and “nineteenth”—was officially established as Juneteenth National Independence Day and became a federal holiday. The holiday recognizes June 19, 1865, when news that all enslaved people were finally free reached Galveston, Texas.

Our preschoolers learned about the significance of Juneteenth with age-appropriate lessons, a group reading and a craft to learn about skin tone appreciation while listening to some of history’s most beloved songs, like Lift Every Voice and What a Wonderful World. They were then presented with various shades of paint matching different skin tones to begin creating their unique masterpieces, which were proudly displayed.

“My goal for teaching about Juneteenth is to not only share the history of the day, but have the children recognize that even though we are all different, our differences should be celebrated,” said curriculum coordinator Leigh Savacool. “We talked about how God created us all different for a reason, and how we each have special talents that make us unique.”

As far as the song choice, Savacool said that the beauty of the selection is within the lyrics.

“I like this song because Louis Armstrong’s voice is unique, but more importantly I like the message of the song—look around at how lovely the world is. It was a nice way for the children to focus on the words of the music.”

At Upbring, we believe that a child’s potential is limitless when surrounded by opportunities to explore their curiosity and be encouraged. Lessons such as this are geared toward amplifying that curiosity and helping children understand that they too make the world wonderful.

About Upbring School of Arts and Sciences (USAS)
Upbring School of Arts and Sciences (USAS) – Central Austin Campus prioritizes Upbring’s five markers of every child’s well-being: health, safety, education, vocation and life skills. Children 6 weeks to Kinder receive yearlong instruction filled with individualized learning plans, new technology, Christian teachings and more. Click here to learn more.

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