Chicago, Ill., August 21, 2007 — A set of four lesson plans on race and diversity can now be downloaded by educators at no cost. Designed for high school teachers, and suitable for youth leaders in non-school settings, the lessons are designed to promote greater understanding of difference among high school students. They have been developed over several years by a non-profit organization and can be downloaded from the website RaceBridges.net (www.RaceBridges.net/schools?mw1).

The activities in the four lessons have been tested with high school students in Chicago and have been found to open up constructive dialogue among students. Teachers have reported that the activities encourage students to recognize and respect differences in the classroom and also promote a sense of community in their classes. Each of the lessons is completely self-contained and can usually be completed during a 45-minute class period. All of the materials that teachers will need can be easily downloaded from the RaceBridges.net/schools?mw1 web site.

The four lessons presently available are:

* "Claim It! Creating a Climate of Inclusion." This whole-class activity causes students to examine issues of identity and then commit to making personal changes in behavior.
* "A Thanksgiving Reflection: Who is Missing from Our Table?" This lesson utilizes personal stories to reflect on the Thanksgiving holiday and on Americans´ acceptance of difference.
* "African-American Heritage Month – We All Have a Race: Addressing Race and Racism." Here students explore the meanings of "race" and "racism" and consider how they might personally work to overcome their own biases.
* "Sticking Together: Sharing Our Stories, Our Differences, and Our Similarities." This unit enhances a sense of community in a classroom and promotes a broader sense of community outside of school.

In addition to the four free lessons, RaceBridges.net has just published two new resources. One describes how to create and nurture a "diversity club" among high school students. The other outlines a simple diversity orientation program for school faculty and staff.

In the works for the 2007-08 school year are four new lesson plans. The first three will focus on Latino, Native American, and African-American themes, while the fourth will address community builders and other people who have "made a difference." All of the new lessons will be downloadable at no cost.

To view or download materials, visit http://www.racebridges.net/schools?mw1

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