Providing a Foundation of Togetherness with Books

Shared reading experiences create community and stories can provide a foundation of togetherness for students during this unique time. There are some excellent read-aloud books that can help kick-off the new school year with a positive start. Following are three new titles and the publishers’ summaries of stories with themes of kindness, courage, and honor.

Books Can Help Guide Conversations About Race, Racism, and Antiracism

It is widely known that books are one of the most effective and practical tools for initiating conversations when discussing a sensitive topic. Stories can illustrate historical events as well as model what it means to be a member of a race. The more we know about the experiences of people in our communities, the more we will have empathy and understanding for each other. The recent national and global protests against police violence have put an even greater importance on having meaningful conversations about race, racism and anti-racism. My blog article highlights books that may be helpful resources to educators, students, and community members.

Game-Changer: Social and Emotional Learning can be done in the School Library Makerspace

School libraries are for everyone; they need to be a place that is ever changing in response to their students’ and teachers’ needs. Each school community is unique, however, a makerspace in a school library has the power to become a game-changing tool and resource, especially when it taps into district initiatives. One of the most enduring district initiatives that seems to be important across the country is Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), and when you take those skills and put them in a Makerspace you not only have a great reason to advocate for the significance of libraries but more importantly you provide students with skills to become empathetic and good people prepared for an ever-changing world.

Relationships with Elders – new books that promote positive bonds between youth and seniors

There are many benefits of intergenerational relationships. When older and younger people connect it improves both groups’ well-being. The most common activity these generations can do together is share stories. Books showing meaningful relationships between children and their elders are a valuable addition to any library. Following are some new books that promote positive bonds between youth and seniors.

5 Benefits of Reading Picture Books Aloud to Secondary Students

Words are powerful, especially when words are shared from one person to another. Reading aloud to students is a unique opportunity to share words. Reading picture books out loud to secondary students is just as valuable as when they were read to in grade school. In addition to the illustrations adding to the magic of the spoken word, vocabulary skills and comprehension is strengthened. Here are five additional benefits of reading aloud with your secondary students.

New Books to Encourage a Greater Appreciation of Writing and Reading Poetry

No other forms of writing express emotions and create imagery like poetry. The words selected by poets are based on their meaning and arranged on the page to create a rhythm and tempo for readers. Following are my favorite new poetry books. I hope these titles will help encourage students to gain a greater appreciation of writing and reading poetry.

Books to create a Safe Space to Talk about Emotions (brought on by the CoVID-19 global pandemic)

When faced with challenging situations, I always turn to books. And we are all facing uncertainty. Schools and organizations are taking safety precautions within their buildings and exploring different ways to teach and learn. Students, educators, and parents are all feeling the effects of the ever changing situation and how it may impact the school experience. Secondary students benefit just as much as elementary students when a picture book is read aloud. It strengthens your classroom community, creates a safe space to talk about emotions, and provides a nice enjoyable experience for all. Listed are some titles that are available in print and digital e-book. These books may be helpful when addressing the emotions that come with this global pandemic.

Looking Back Helps Us Look To The Future – spotlight on picture books that celebrate women’s historical contributions

At my son’s swim meet last month, I overheard a group of adults complaining that kids these days rely too much on spell check and calculators. I wanted to point out that spell check and calculators were created by people. And the students today, while dependent on the tools that have been invented before them, need to be innovators and make new and more powerful tools. I decided not to contribute to the discussion and instead write this blog article.

March is Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Women’s Day -- a perfect time to look back and recognize the individual contributions by women that have shaped our country’s historical accomplishments. I hope these books will inspire today’s students to be innovators as well.