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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Foreword FOREWORD TO THE SECOND EDITION by Louise Derman-Sparks Including holidays in the curriculum has long been a staple of early childhood programs. These activities tended to be simplified versions of mainstream celebrations such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s and Father’s Days. Programs proceeded on an unspoken assumption that all families of the children in the program celebrated them. Holiday activities often relied on a combination of teacher-made and commer- cially purchased materials. These were taken off the shelf for the celebration and then put away for the following year, regardless of the makeup of the chil- dren and families in any given year. When awareness about the realities of cultural and family diversity in ECE programs began to grow, holiday activities quickly became a focal point. Adding new holidays to the ones already regularly celebrated seemed to be an “easy” way to bring diversity into a program’s curriculum. As before, many teachers continued to use commercial materials, while some asked families to help them introduce the holidays they celebrated at home—especially ones new to the staff. However, as early childhood programs served increasingly diverse groups of children and families, it also became increasingly clear that using holidays to respectfully recognize and teach about diversity is not simple or easy. In 1979, Young Children published an article titled “Beyond ‘Ten Little Indians’ and Turkeys: Alternative Approaches to Thanksgiving” (Ramsey, 28–51). This pioneering piece called on early childhood educators to think critically about the biased messages and one-sided view of history embedded in the way the Thanksgiving story was typically taught. In 1987, Patricia G. Ramsey more fully developed her critical analysis, writing, “When holidays are the sole or main focus of a multicultural curriculum, they become token gestures rather than authentic representations of cultural diversity” (79). COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL xi