My group is a multi-age Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten/First Grade class, with a wide range of abilities, strengths, and challenges. Two-thirds of the students in my class speak at least 2 languages, and more than half of them qualify as low-income. Our school consists of 8 classrooms all together, spanning TK to Fifth Grade. We have the most culturally and ethnically diverse community of any school in our area, including a wide range of socio-economic levels.
Our classrooms are getting more diverse all the time, and our classroom libraries need to keep up.
Our students are active and like to experience science in our nearby Open Space. They love to engage in Music and Art classes, as well as Spanish and P.E. And they love to share stories - stories about adventures and challenges and joy and pain.
I am creating a collection of books to be shared by our 8 classroom teachers, for all of us to read to our students. The stories will be available to all of our children, ages 4 to 11, to encourage conversations about empathy, equity, and community.
Our Transitional Kindergarten through Fifth Grade students need access to children's books representing different backgrounds and experiences, to promote tolerance and acceptance.
I believe that this is what social justice looks like in elementary school: seeing yourself represented in stories and learning the stories of others who are different from you. Feeling the feelings of others, and realizing that we are all more alike than we are different.
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