AMAZE provides developmentally appropriate curricula, tools, and training for early childhood programs and elementary schools. These programs are based in research and best practices and built in community with authentic voices of community members, parents, administrators, and educators.
AMAZE programs, staff development, and consultation support teachers to:
Assess classroom social dynamics through the eyes of students, looking for the early signs of isolation, targeting, and exclusion
Provide effective prevention and intervention strategies that build connection and understanding where there was none
Provide windows and mirrors through quality books that help students learn about each other while seeing themselves or their experiences reflected in classroom materials
Initiate guided conversations about each other’s lives and experiences
Create safe, welcoming space for children to be curious and ask questions about differences
We do this by helping teachers build power within students and by enhancing knowledge, practice, and compassion among the adults who educate them.
Research shows that most teacher education programs do not provide the comprehensive training needed to help break down stereotypes and build community with respect and compassion across differences in today’s diverse classrooms. Without this training, teachers can unintentionally pass along the biases and stereotypes within our society both directly and indirectly through tone, attitudes, and actions. We know that given practical tools and support, teachers will create a learning environment that values all students.
Task Force Approach
What does it mean to create materials that reflect a complex and diverse world? In order to ensure that all AMAZE materials are relevant, factual, and connected to real experiences and real lives, AMAZE organizes task forces to help create the content in our materials.
With each curriculum and piloting process, AMAZE works with a task force composed of those with lived and learned experience in order to define the best strategy for reaching our goals. Task force members oversee the entire process of creation and the first stage of implementation, coming together to learn from the pilot and improve the new materials. Task force members help AMAZE choose the best books for any given identity of experience and Task force members help create the stories behind each persona doll. Because we know that communities and identities change over time, AMAZE refreshes books and persona doll stories regularly, ensuring that information is relevant and specific rather than only offering general information about a particular identity or experience. AMAZE is grateful to our hundreds of task force members. We could not create materials that reflect the complexity of children’s experience without their wisdom.