“i love naps but i stay woke” ~ dopest sign worn by a little darling at the #WomensMarch
On the morning of the Women’s March, we had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the launch of the first Children’s Social Justice Reading Group at the East Lansing Public Library, a library in our neighboring community.
Developed for children aged 4 to 11 years old, this program intends to introduce multicultural stories that reflect and honor the diverse experiences of people in our local and global communities; to broaden and deepen our little ones’ understanding of and compassion for the differences they notice and become curious about in others as well as the similarities they share; and to cultivate their listening and critical thinking skills.
With over 200 eager participants signed up (more than 6 times the modest 30 souls they guesstimated might be interested in a 10:30 am event on the same Saturday as the sister march taking place a few miles west at our State Capitol), the program coordinators whittled down the massive crowd by age-clusters and assigned us separate storytelling spaces. After the readings, each group was broken down into smaller discussion circles of five or six to answer questions, share thoughts, and brainstorm actions they might take if they met kids like the characters, Amelia and Hassan. Rounding out this special morning were snacks and crafts!
This month’s books focused on the theme of migrants and immigrants (a printed list with other titles for further reading was also provided):
Amelia’s Road by Linda Jacobs
- Bonus: Story Narrated on Video
The Colour of Home by Mary Hoffman
I was so geeked about the possibility of expanding this program into our district’s library and the homeschooling community that when I spotted librarians from my home district and the hosting site, I rounded them up, pleaded with them to stop working in silos, and shamelessly begged-volunteered to help!
So, guess who was invited to help with the storytime for Black History Month and the next SJRG?!
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