Junior shines light on injustices

Jaida Puentes provides resources to elementary schools

Lauren Thon

What is your community service project about?

Our project is about teaching racial inequities and injustices to students in school. We are going to the elementary schools to talk with the teachers and ask them what they are doing to teach about these injustices and inequities. We want to hear what they are doing and provide resources so they can teach kids the importance of equality and inclusion. Kids are most vulnerable when they are young so it is good to teach it to them when they are in elementary school. When we were younger, we experienced racism but couldn’t identify it, which is another thing that we would help educate the kids on.


Why are you doing this project?

We (Jaida Puentes and Aniya Martin)  and  started this project hoping to bring attention to racial inequities. We ended up leaning towards educating a younger crowd, such as elementary schoolers. It is so important for kids to identify racism and feel comfortable enough to call it out when they see it happening. I want young kids to have resources and be taught about injustices in the way we were not. 


Why is this project important?

Kids should be taught how to identify racism when they see it and how to call it out. Teachers should teach kids about this because, if they don’t, we will be stuck in the same cycle of injustices and nothing is going to change. If we can help provide resources and insight to educators and students, we want to. This will help students and teachers become comfortable with having conversations and confront racist behaviors. 


What have you done so far?

We have set up meetings with three schools so far: PSI, Susan Lindgren and Aquila. We plan to ask the teachers how they are teaching their students about racism. We want to provide these teachers with resources to have these discussions. 


How does this project make you feel?

It makes me feel really motivated. This is something I am really passionate about and I feel good working on it. Hopefully, we can make a change within the curriculum in the elementary schools.