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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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?
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
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
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 email@example.com. 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.