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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Champions

Cultivating a positive culture today and for our future.

No matter how young your child is, you have big dreams for their future. So do we. That’s why we commit to more than preparing them for the next step at school. We build their confidence as more curious learners and bigger thinkers.

Champions is a safe space for kids to explore, be original, and rise to their next challenge. In our programs, we help students celebrate what makes them unique—because that’s what makes them awesome! They learn to value the differences in our families, beliefs, and bodies and recognize the commonalities that bring us together. Because when they believe in themselves and their abilities, they can reimagine how things work and shape their world into whatever they imagine it can be.

Here are some of the ways we support a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture in our learning programs and our workplace. You’ll also find resources for bringing these lessons home.

We connect the conversation between our programs and your home.

Helping children understand diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) can begin with simple practices that will guide them toward being good people. Together, we’ll build stronger communities where kids grow up to be more caring and engaged citizens.

We’ll always share resources from our programs, like books that reflect diverse perspectives, to support you in actively raising anti-racist humans who celebrate the differences in themselves and others. If you need more or something different, just ask. We’ll listen.

Conversation starters

Race is complex and layered at this age, but helping your child develop their cultural literacy will take your family’s conversations about race one step further. As they read books about others’ lived experiences, help them understand and appreciate differences within racial groups to avoid perpetuating hurtful stereotypes.  

Be honest with your child about racism and oppression and that it’s still happening. Then expand by discussing ways you can all fight against it. You can also start using everyday opportunities (or set focused time) to talk about these complex concepts. 

Reading recommendations

Children’s books about race and diversity for ages 8–12: 

  • “The Undefeated” by Kwame Alexander (author), Kadir Nelson (illustrator) 
  • “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” by Derrick Barnes (author), Gordon C. James (illustrator) 
  • "Who Got Game? Baseball: Amazing but True Stories!” by Derrick Barnes (author), John John Bajet (illustrator) 

While you’re reading, discuss ways you can all stand up to racism and oppression by asking questions like these

Conversation starters

Conversations about race are sticky no matter how often you have them. Physical differences related to race are one of the first things children notice. A good place to start might be basic scientific explanations of physical differences between races like skin color (melanin) or eye shape (the epicanthic fold). By helping children learn to talk respectfully about differences while they’re young, you strengthen their ability to recognize and value our shared humanity.  

It’s so important to teach our children about empathy and how to recognize discrimination. It can be uncomfortable for kids to think about injustices. But once they learn how to spot them and how to persevere through the discomfort, they’ll come from a stronger place to advocate for what’s fair and just. 

Reading recommendations

Children’s books about race and diversity for ages 5–7: 

  • “Amazing Grace” by Mary Hoffman (author), Caroline Binch (illustrator) 
  • “Bein’ With You This Way” by W. Nikola-Lisa (author), Michael Bryant (illustrator) 
  • “The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson (author), Rafael López (illustrator) 

To help your child learn empathy and recognize how discrimination hurts people, ask these questions while reading.

Conversation starters

Books are a great entry point to important conversations about race with preschoolers. When choosing books, look for diverse characters in many professions and community roles. Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) heroes serve as role models and inspiration for their dreams!   

When children see themselves and others in what they read, they start to understand the physical differences associated with race. While you’re reading, talk with your child about how they’re like or different from the characters. You’ll give them the language to value our shared humanity and develop a strong sense of self.  

Reading recommendations

Children’s books about race and diversity for ages 3-5: 

  • “I Am Enough” by Grace Byers (author), Keturah A. Bobo (illustrator) 
  • “Black Is Brown Is Tan” by Arnold Adoff (author), Emily Arnold McCully (illustrator) 
  • “Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Peῆa (author), Christian Robinson (illustrator) 

To help your child learn empathy and recognize how discrimination hurts people, ask these questions while reading

We provide every student with what they need to thrive.

Think of our program sites as an extension of home—an environment made to nurture students' abilities during out-of-school-time, within school walls. Not only will your child feel seen and celebrated; they’ll feel empowered to ask questions, explore their interests, take risks, and learn from them.

Every child has a place in our circle. Our nurturing teachers always cheer them on and strive to create positive, welcoming programs by:

  • Understanding each student’s strengths and where they may need extra support.
  • Providing an anti-bias education that helps kids recognize and speak out against unfairness, injustice, and prejudice.
  • Helping kids find the language to respectfully talk about our similarities and our differences.
  • Providing support and other accommodations for students with varying needs and abilities.

And when the school bell rings, schools and teachers see the difference Champions can make in their classroom communities through more engaged students. It’s all supported by our Inclusion Services team and their mission to provide every Champions site with what it needs to create accessible and equitable spaces.

We’re committed to doing what’s right for our Champions family.

We believe all classrooms, workplaces, and communities deserve a culture that welcomes every race, gender, religion, mobility, ability, and family structure. Embracing the unique stories and perspectives of our employees and families is critical to doing what’s right for them and supporting our communities.

We pledge to continually look inward, listen, learn, and take meaningful steps forward. To guide us, we’ve invited People of Color from across our company to be part of an advisory caucus that will lead some of our DEI initiatives and keep us accountable. Their mission: Support us in creating equitable spaces where everyone is heard, celebrated, and equipped to do their best work.

Continuing our pledge of listening and learning, we looked to our teachers to guide us as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We asked them how Dr. King’s work has influenced them, and what dreams they have for the next generation.