January 31, 2020 is Multicultural Children’s Book Day. At Dothan Brook School we are preparing for MCCBD 2020 and hope you will join our celebration of diversity through children's books. As you may know, it is critical to expose children to books where they can see and learn about people like themselves (mirrors), as well as see and learn about people who are different from them (windows).
Multicultural Children’s Book Day‘s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators. According to their website, this non-profit has donated over 7,000 books to kids and that number continues to climb.
We will be celebrating Multicultural Children’s Book Day for a whole week at DBS! Starting on January 27th, class council lessons and library activities will focus on diversity in literature. We will also be introducing the concept of books as windows and mirrors. Lodge circles that week will focus on diversity in literature as well.
We would love for you to take this opportunity to discuss the importance of diversity in the books with your children as well. We understand that talking about diversity can be challenging and uncomfortable, even for parents and teachers! For many, there is a fear of saying the wrong thing, or opening up a conversation you aren’t able to fully address, and often it feels easier to just not even begin the discussion. We would encourage you to take this opportunity to give it a try. Remember, we are all learning together!
Here are a few suggestions for talking about diversity in literature with your children:
- As you’re reading, pause to ask questions, such as:
- What is it like to feel different and not fit in?
- Was there a time you felt like this?
- Don’t skip over foreign words. Make an effort to learn them. Practice saying them together.
- Point out foods and clothing in stories that might be different from typical American food and clothing.
- In your home library, have students find a book with a picture of someone who looks like them and a book with a picture with someone who doesn’t look like them.
If you are interested in exploring further, check out these sites: