#AASLchat organizers and I are on the same wave length when it comes to celebrating Black History, Women’s History, and all of the “months.” Diversity in resources, teaching, and programming are most effective when diversity is essential to the classroom/library curriculum all year long.
The AASL February chat will be held tonight, 2/22/21, beginning at 7:30 EST. You can read about it in an article by Chelsea Brantley and the AASL School Library Event Promotion Committee on the KQ Blog.
For me, “providing students with equitable access to relevant, engaging, and culturally responsive curriculum, resources, and programming must be essential to our mission” (Moreillon 2021, 150). Coplanning instruction with classroom teachers gives school librarians the opportunity to privilege diverse voices, cultures, and contributions throughout the curriculum.
These are the #AASLchat questions followed by my tweets and comments.
Q1 Black History Month is in February, but why not celebrate all year? What are some practical ways librarians can differentiate instruction to support learners’ understanding of cultural relevancy and placement within the global learning community? #AASLchat
A1 Conducting #diversity audits, not only for the library collection but also for lessons and unit plans and programming, is essential. These sample resources span the content areas and grade levels. #AASLchat #Kidlit #MGlit #YAlit
Math and Science: Hidden Women: The African-American Mathematicians of NASA Who Helped America Win the Space Race (Encounter: Narrative Nonfiction Stories) by Rebecca Rissman (Capstone 2018).
History and Civic Education: Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Laura Freeman (Atheneum 2020)
Music and Culture: R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul by Carole Boston Weatherford (Atheneum 2020) with stunning illustrations by Frank Morrison
Q2 Libraries share stories of people from all walks of life. What books do you share with students to celebrate diversity? #AASLchat
A2 American Indians’ experiences/contributions often left out of curriculum. Connect current events w/ #diverse resources. Ex: NM U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland, Pueblo woman & candidate 4 Secretary of Interior. What cultural values will she bring to this position? #AASLchat
Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids by Cynthia Leitch Smith (Heartdrum 2021)
Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade (Roaring Brook 2020)
Nibi Emosaawdang / The Water Walker (Ojibwa / English Edition) (Ojibwa) by Joanne Robertson, translators Shirley Williams and Isadore Toulouse (Second Story Press 2018)
Q3 Thinking ahead to March and Women’s History Month, let’s curate some resources to share with our students in the coming weeks. Identify a resource or two and how you might integrate it in your library program. #AASLchat
A3 Feature #OwnVoices of Black (& other) women during Women’s History Month. Ex: Make these connections w/social studies curriculum or biography/autobiography unit. Compare first-hand accounts w/textbook/informational book content. #AASLchat
Child of the Dream (Memoir of 1963) by Sharon Robinson (Scholastic 2020)
My Life with Rosie: A Bond Between Cousins by Angela Sadler Williamson and Chloe Helms (Kate Butler Books 2020)
Ruby Bridges: This Is Your Time by Ruby Bridges (Delacourt Press 2020)
An additional word or two about Ruby Bridges: This Is Your Time: This small book is a love and grace letter from Ruby Bridges to young children, in particular. On left-hand pages, Ms. Bridges begins the book with a paragraph or two about her six-year-old experience of integrating a White school in New Orleans (1960) and continues with how the commitment to civil rights has impacted her/our lives. Primary source black and white photographs on the right-hand pages illustrate her text. All are cited. I can imagine an elementary educator using each double page in this book as a discussion/writing prompt in and of itself. Powerful.
Thank you to Chelsea and the School Library Event Promotion Committee for organizing the 2/22/21 chat around questions that focus on how to expand our spotlights on Black History and Women’s History, not solely during the months of February and March respectively, but all year long. We appreciate you for publicizing and publishing the questions in advance so that participants can think about our responses and organize the resources we want to share.
Then we can truly listen and learn from one another during the chat!
See you there!
Moreillon, Judi. 2021. Core Values in School Librarianship: Responding with Commitment and Courage. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.