According to the U.S. Department of Education, we learn most rapidly during the early years of childhood. More importantly, a child’s first five years are most critical to the development of security and self-confidence. To the black community, this simply suggests that we began teaching our children to take pride in who they are, our culture and our history at an early age.
It can be quite a challenge to find creative and effective methods when teaching young children about their ancestry. However, in February freelance journalist and copy editor Chauncia Boyd Rogers came up with a unique idea. She decided it was time to teach her 5-year-old daughter, Ava Noelle Rogers, about eminent woman in black history.
To ensure Ava retained the information, Chauncia decided to create a photo project implementing what Ava likes best…playing dress up. Chauncia dressed her daughter as several prominent black women and took pictures so that Ava would never forget the experience and she put them on Facebook.
NBCBLK contributor Alicia Hadley recently spoke with Chauncia and Ava about the details of their creative project.
AH: How did you come up with the idea?
Chauncia: I had a Timehop photo and it showed me and Ava in 2011 at our church’s Black History program. During that program, every week in February, one of the teens at church dressed as an historical [black] figure and did some sort of presentation as that figure. So I just wanted to borrow from that.
And Ava, she just really likes to repurpose things around the house. So I said, “I’m just going to use Ava’s simplicity-take things around the house and make them work for the pictures. And it will be a way for her to enjoy it.”
I wanted Ava to learn about black history. She didn’t participate in my church’s celebration in February 2011 because she had just turned one. But she turned five in December 2014 and I felt that at this age, she would be more receptive to the information.
I’m also from St. Louis. We just moved to Orlando about a year ago and Michael Brown was my niece’s cousin. He’s on her dad’s side of the family and so the entire situation is very close to home. My cousin and my aunt live on the street he was killed on. I grew up in Ferguson. I lived in Ferguson from age three to nine. I see what’s going on in St. Louis and right now a part of me is glad that I’m away in Orlando because it’s just traumatic and dramatic. But then a part of me wants to be out there doing what I can to help. I guess the situation in my hometown is another thing that inspired me. I just want Ava to know that she can be better, and that she can do better.
AH: There have been so many significant black women who have helped shape our society. How did you decide which women made the cut? Continue reading “Mom Chauncia Rogers Teaches 5 Year-Old Daughter Ava About Women in Black History Through Innovative Dress-Up Photo Project”