The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. June was Pride Month, so the project highlighted books about the LGBTQ community. The project has been extended through July. July’s theme is own voices. 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 June:
This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
Summary: In a wildly whimsical, validating, and exuberant reflection of the LGBT community, This Day in June welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united.Read more
Reflective Question: What does Pride Month mean to you?
I am always looking for books to read and recommend for the Read Aloud Project. During this search, I came across an EmbraceRace webinar titled “Finding and Reading Great Stories for and With Children.” The guest speaker was Katie Potter of Lee & Low Books. I had never heard of Lee & Low Books before and was excited to learn about their efforts to promote diversity in children’s books. Potter provided a surprising statistic on how Black, Latino, and Native authors combined wrote only 7 percent of new children’s books published in 2017.Read more
Written By Brittany Johnson
I am a Latina raising mixed children. My daughters, Haven and Harlow, are African American, Hispanic, and White. They have thick dark curls and brown skin. When you think of Little Red Riding Hood or Cinderella, you do not picture my daughters. You imagine fair skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair. Society has reinforced this image in our heads. When our children are young, they rely on picture books and movies to guide their imaginations. When you think of a princess or a fairy, what do you see?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 the project, members of the community record themselves reading children’s books about peace, courage and justice. The response from the community has been great and we appreciate those who have participated. 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 May:
The Sandwich Swap by Kelly DiPucchio and Queen Rania of Jordan
Summary: The Sandwich Swap tells the story of best friends Lily and Salma. Lily likes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, while Salma prefers to eat hummus on pita. The girls get into an argument because they think each other’s lunch is weird. Before they know it, a food fight breaks out at school. In the end, the girls try the different sandwiches and enjoy it.Read more
Reflective Question: Have you ever swapped a sandwich with a friend? What is your favorite sandwich?
Written by Marie Benner-Rhoades, Youth and Young Adult Peace Formation Director (Originally written in 2018, updated for this blog.)
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about raising my white children in a predominately white place. I want them to understand race and their role in social justice efforts, and it already feels too late. My children are six and two years old. What we know about implicit bias includes that children as young as six months already make judgments based on race. We have to be intentional in our efforts to be anti-racist.
Reading to my kids is a favorite activity in my family. We all take part- kids, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles- in person and online. Bookshelves are full in my house, but are they full of the right books? I decided recently to do a children’s book audit after viewing an EmbraceRace webinar, “Reading Picture Books with Children through a Race-Conscious Lens,” where the idea was introduced to me.Read more
Having diverse characters in children’s books is important because it allows children to reflect on their own identity and develop empathy for others. For the Read Aloud Project, we have made a concerted effort to read books with diverse characters. Examples of books we have read include We Are A Rainbow by Nancy Tabor, Grace For President by Kelly DiPucchio, The Sandwich Swap by Kelly DiPucchio and Queen Rania of Jordan, Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai, and The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi. As the project carries on, I continue to look for books to recommend to volunteers. This led me to attend an EmbraceRace webinar titled “Choosing Good Picture Books Featuring Black, Indigenous and People of Color Characters."Read more