On November 12th, I attended a webinar hosted by Lee & Low Books about contemporary Native American children’s literature and educational resources. The guest speakers were Traci Sorell, author of Indian No More, and Carla Messinger, author of When the Shadbush Blooms. For the first part of the webinar, Sorell and Messinger talked about the meaning behind their books. Sorell’s book Indian No More is based on a true story about a 10 year old Umpqua girl and her family being forced to relocate to a different reservation after their tribal rights are terminated in the 1950s. Messinger’s book When the Shadbush Blooms discusses the past and present lives of the Lenape people. When discussing the importance of her book, Messinger provided a shocking statistic showing how 40 percent of Americans think that Native Americans do not exist or are extinct. For this very reason, Sorell and Messinger believe it is important to read children’s books that highlight the present lives of Native people.Read more
Written by Tamera Shaw and Priscilla Weddle
Overview of Symposium
Priscilla Weddle, the Children’s Peace Formation Organizer, and Tamera Shaw, one of the Racial Justice Organizers, attended the The White Symposium Iowa 2020 this year. It was held on November 6-7 via Zoom. The symposium was founded and is owned by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr; it centers on antiracism, equity, liberation, and justice. This year, there were 30 engaging workshops offered and four keynotes: Bettina Love, Wade Antonio-Colwell and Benjie Howard, Jane K. Fernandez, and Jennifer Harvey. Earlier this year, Priscilla and Tamera led a Raising Race Conscious Kids Webinar with Grace Cook-Huffman, Racial Justice Organizer, and Laura Hay, Youth and Young Adult Organizer that was based off of Jennifer Harvey’s Raising White Kids. They were both excited to hear her speak during this symposium.Read more
Priscilla Weddle published Documentaries & Docuseries About Peace, Courage, & Justice in Blog 2020-11-11 20:55:15 -0500
For this blog series, I have been focusing on the importance of books in developing children’s peace skills. However, movies and tv shows can also play a significant role in teaching children skills. I wanted to create a list of documentaries and docuseries that both children and adults would enjoy watching. The documentaries and docuseries I chose are about peace, courage and justice. Here are my recommendations:Read more
On October 22nd, I attended an Embrace Race webinar called “Using Books to Engage Young Children in Talk about Race and Justice.” Savitha Moorthy, Sara Rizik-Baer, and Aija Simmons of Tandem Bay Area were the guest speakers. Tandem is a nonprofit organization that has a mission of “engaging the whole community to ensure all families have the resources, skills, and confidence they need to support their children’s kindergarten readiness” (Tandem, 2019). Moorthy, Rizik-Baer, and Simmons were invited to speak by Embrace Race to talk about their new StoryCycles program. The StoryCycles program “provides families with the access they need to high-quality children’s books and also provides information to parents and educators on how to make the most of each book-sharing opportunity” (Tandem, 2019).Read more
The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. For October, the project highlighted books about peace skills and Hispanic culture. In November, the project will highlight books about Native American culture to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email Priscilla at email@example.com. Here are the books that were read for the project in October:
Mama’s Nightingale:A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat, Illustrated by Leslie Staub
Summary: “After Saya’s mother is sent to an immigration detention center, Saya finds comfort in listening to her mother’s warm greeting on their answering machine. To ease the distance between them while she is in jail, Mama begins sending Saya bedtime stories inspired by Haitian folklore on cassette tape. Moved by her mother’s tales and her father’s attempts to reunite their family, Saya writes a story of her own—one that just might bring her mother home for good.”
Reflective Question: If you have any friends or family who are immigrants, what are some ways you can support them? How can you be a friend and support immigrants in your community?Read more
Priscilla Weddle published Children's Books About the Birmingham Campaign in Blog 2020-10-22 10:03:48 -0400
In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. and members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference began their campaign to desegregate Birmingham, Alabama. Birmingham was viewed as one of the most segregated cities in the country and demonstrations were outlawed. King would later be arrested for being involved in a non-violent demonstration, which led him to write “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” The story of King’s arrest and letter is well-known, however, many may not know about the vital role children played in the Birmingham Campaign. Thousands of children joined the Children’s Crusade to protest segregation and were met with force by Birmingham’s police force. Even though they were being attacked, the children continued to march. Many children ended up being arrested and stories of their march made headlines around the country. Their courageous actions pushed officials in Birmingham to meet with civil rights leaders and desegregate the city. I wanted to create a list of books about the Children's Crusade to show children that they can be actively engaged in social justice and make a difference in the world. Here is the list:
The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, A Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson
Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else. So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan—picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!—she stepped right up and said, I’ll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il! Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.Read more
Priscilla Weddle published Children's Halloween Books About Courage and Friendship in Blog 2020-10-16 13:06:20 -0400
Halloween is right around the corner! Even though it is going to be different this year without trick or treating, there are still several things you can do to make Halloween fun for kids including reading a book. I decided to create a list of Halloween books that were not too scary so any kid would enjoy reading or listening to them. Also, I chose books with themes about friendship and courage. Here is the list:
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
This book is about facing your fears. A little old lady leaves her house for a walk in the forest, finding herself far from home as night falls. She encounters articles of clothing who start following her, but she refuses to let them frighten her. When the little old lady runs into a Jack-O-Lantern, she hurries home. The articles of clothing and Jack-O-Lantern show up at her home and the little old lady has a bright idea.Read more
I recently attended a webinar about climate change and how the pandemic has impacted relief efforts. In the webinar, the wildfires happening on the West Coast were discussed and I learned how damaging they have been. So, I decided to make a list of children’s books about climate change to introduce children to the topic and provide information on what they can do to help. Here is the list of books:
The Trouble with Dragons by Debi Gliori
“The world is populated by some beastly dragons who care nothing for how much they mess up the oceans, chop down the trees, gobble up all the food and use everything up without stopping to think. Those dragons need to wake up to what they are doing to their world before it is too late. A delightful and energy-filled picture book that addresses concerns about the environment in the most child-centric and delightful way possible.”Read more
The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. For September, the project highlighted books about peace skills and Hispanic culture. We will continue to read children’s books about these topics through October. In November, the project will highlight books about Native American culture to celebrate Native American Heritage Month as well as books about voting and elections. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email Priscilla at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are the books that were read for the project in September:
Elephant & Piggie: Should I Share My Ice Cream? By Mo Willems
Summary: Gerald buys ice cream one day and wonders if he should share it with his best friend Piggie. He goes back and forth on whether he should share his ice cream until he decides to share with Piggie. But, by the time Gerald comes to this decision, the ice cream has melted. He is very sad. Piggie shows up with ice cream and shares it with Gerald to make him feel better.
Reflective Question: How does sharing with your friends make you feel?Read more
Priscilla Weddle published Children's Books About Voting and Elections in Blog 2020-09-16 20:49:27 -0400
With the 2020 presidential election coming up, I wanted to create a list of children’s books about voting and elections to help answer questions children might have about it. I picked out books that highlighted the election process and addressed the history of voting rights in the U.S. Here is the list of books:
Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter, Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky—she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery.Read more
With the school year starting, I was curious about what books teachers were planning on using in their classrooms. So, I reached out to my sister Brittany and asked her to talk about her favorite children’s books to read in the classroom and why. It should be noted that the books she recommended are for grades 5 and 6. Here is a list of books she mentioned along with why she enjoys them:
Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
“This book is one of my favorites because it displays a young African American female as the main character. It places her in a position of power that she worked hard for. This is not always the norm in children’s books, so it felt good to see a positive story with a minority as the lead.”Read more
The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. For August, the project highlighted books about peace skills. In September, there will be activity sheets to go along with the videos. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email Priscilla at email@example.com. Here are the books that were read for the project in August:
Thank You, Omu! By Oge Mora
Summary: Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu’s delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?
Reflective Question: Why do you think that sharing is important?
Priscilla Weddle published Raising Race Conscious Kids Session 4 Reflection in Blog 2020-08-26 10:40:54 -0400
Written by Tamera Shaw and Grace Cook-Huffman
As On Earth Peace’s Racial Justice Intern Organizers, Grace Cook-Huffman and I, Tamera Shaw, led the fourth and final session of the “Raising Race Conscious Kids” webinar series. This session covered the future of racial justice. When thinking about how to frame this session, the first thing that came to mind was the need to provide a resource list for people to access after the completion of our webinar series. When talking about such a heavy topic, we knew that the previous three sessions weren’t going to be enough to address everything that exists in the world of race consciousness. We struggled with connecting our highlighted topics to raising kids because neither of us have children. However, we also wanted to include topics that might not necessarily be for children, but for those teaching children. We, as the teachers to children, must be doing the work as well.Read more
Priscilla Weddle published Raising Race Conscious Kids Session 2 Reflection in Blog 2020-08-18 16:11:40 -0400
My name is Priscilla Weddle and I am the Children’s Peace Formation Coordinator at On Earth Peace. I led the second session of “Raising Race Conscious Kids” with Laura Hay. The second session focused on racial scripts and how to disrupt them. Racial scripts are formed from past events or experiences and impact how racialized groups are viewed and interact with one another. While preparing for the session, I was concerned because the topic of racial scripts is complex and can be difficult to explain and understand. I decided to include several examples from Raising White Kids by Jennifer Harvey and Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum in my slides to ensure that everyone would understand what racial scripts are.Read more
Priscilla Weddle published Raising Race Conscious Kids Session 1 Reflection in Blog 2020-08-11 11:06:42 -0400
Written by Laura Hay
My name is Laura Hay and I am the Youth and Young Adult Intern with OEP. In collaboration with Priscilla, Grace, Tamera, and Marie, I have been leading a webinar series entitled Raising Race-Conscious Kids. I led the first session which was an introduction to the topics: color-blindness, diversity, and race-conscious teaching. Coming to this project, I must admit I felt wildly under-qualified to be a leader on the topic of raising race-conscious kids. I am not a mother, nor do I have many close family connections with children. The most connected I am to children is through my past work at camps and here at my position with OEP, which I have only just started, so I felt ill prepared to act as some sort of expert and introduce the group to these difficult and highly nuanced topics. But as with almost everything intimidating, I have learned so much through the process. First and most importantly, I think, is that I do not have to be an expert. Harvey in Raising White Kids says that “we don’t have to have all the answers but just need to continue to ask good questions and find good resources.” And I think that is great advice for anyone just starting to understand race teaching and race-consciousness.Read more
I am always looking for books to read and recommend for the Read Aloud Project. During my search, I have discovered amazing books, authors, and publishers. Recently, I looked into the new children’s books releases of 2020 and found several books about justice and courage. I wanted to make a list of these new books to share with parents and caregivers to give them some ideas on what books they should look into reading next to the children in their lives. By reading a book, parents and caregivers are able to connect with their children and start important conversations with them. Here is a list of five books that were published in 2020:
Luci Soars by Lulu Delacre
Luci was born without a shadow. Mamá says no one notices. But Luci does. And sometimes others do too. Sometimes they stare, sometimes they tease Luci, and sometimes they make her cry. But when Luci learns to look at what makes her different as a strength, she realizes she has more power than she ever thought. And that her differences can even be a superpower.Read more
The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. July’s theme was own voices, which refers to books written by authors from marginalized or underrepresented groups about their own experiences/from their own perspectives. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email Priscilla at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are the books that were read for the project in July:
Shin-chi’s Canoe by Nicola Campbell
Summary: This book tells the story of two children’s experience at residential school. Shi-shi-etko is about to return for her second year, but this time her six-year-old brother, Shin-chi, is going, too.
As they begin their journey in the back of a cattle truck, Shi-shi-etko tells her brother all the things he must remember: the trees, the mountains, the rivers, and the salmon. Shin-chi knows he will not see his family again until the sockeye salmon return in the summertime. When they arrive at school, Shi-shi-etko gives him a tiny cedar canoe, a gift from their father.
Reflective Question: Who were the first people on the land you live on?
The Read Aloud Project began in April 2020 with the purpose of providing homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. It involves members of the community recording videos of themselves reading children’s books about peace, justice, and courage. The response to the project has been amazing and I appreciate everyone who has supported the project by recording videos and viewing them. We have decided to extend the Read Aloud Project indefinitely and are looking at ways to improve it. So, I created a survey to figure out things like if people are interested in lesson plans to accompany the read aloud videos. Here is a link to the survey: http://ow.ly/PPG950Ayx6S. I look forward to receiving your feedback!
Priscilla Weddle published OEP Raising Race Conscious Kids Webinar Series in Blog 2020-07-16 11:47:10 -0400
With the recent deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police, I was left questioning what I could do to fight against racism. During my bi-weekly meeting with Marie Benner-Rhoades, I mentioned how I would be attending an Embrace Race webinar called "How do I make sure I'm not raising the next 'Amy Cooper'?" The guest speaker was Jennifer Harvey, who is a social activist, professor, and author. Marie had read Harvey’s book Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America and recommended it to me. We thought the book had useful information that parents, educators, and other community members could use to raise race conscious kids. So, we reached out to our Racial Justice Organizers Grace Cook-Huffman and Tamera Shaw and Youth and Young Adult Assistant Laura Hay to develop a webinar series that uses Harvey’s book as a guide.
For the webinar series, we will be meeting every Thursday at 8 PM ET starting on July 23rd through August 13th.Topics will include how parents and teachers can address race, the myth of color-blindness, the role of racial scripts, and the future of racial justice. Even though the book Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey will be used to guide the discussions, reading the book is not required. This webinar is a space for all community members to join in conversations about raising all kids to be race conscious, not just for people raising white kids.
In each session, participants can expect to share their personal experiences in the larger group and in breakout pairs, have open conversations about the role of parents, teachers, and other community members in raising race conscious kids, and receive resources and action steps for raising race conscious kids. If you are interested in attending a webinar session, please register here https://www.onearthpeace.org/webinar_series_raising_race_conscious_kids. Contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Immigration is a topic that should be discussed with children. Even though it can be uncomfortable for some parents to talk about this topic, it is important to explain what it means to be an immigrant and the difficulties they may face. Doing so will help children understand what people go through and will make them more empathetic towards others. A simple way parents can bring up the topic of immigration is by reading a book. Here are a few own voice children’s books about immigrants that detail their experiences:Read more