Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election 2016: NES Library President

The Northside Library held it's first ever Book President election.  The race was between Pete the Cat and the Pigeon and it was a tight one.  The second grade students helped campaign for both candidates and worked hard over the past two weeks get students and staff registered and to keep them informed on the issues.  Posters were hung, commercials were made and polls were taken.  On Monday, November 7 students and staff came to the library with their classes to vote for the candidate of their choice.  There was also an option to write-in a candidate.  Students in grades 2-5 voted electronically, while K-1 students used paper ballots.  All students proudly collected an "I voted today" sticker on their way out of the voting booths.  

The library is pleased to announce that Pete the Cat lead the way with just over fifty percent of the votes.  We look forward to having Pete be our library spokesman this year and the voice of all things book related.  We know the library is in good hands with Pete and everything will be "Allllllll goooood...."

To view a video trailer of Pete's Dream: The Movie click below. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Moving Beyond SkippyJon Jones: Integrating Books with an Authentic Hispanic Lens

Hispanic Heritage Month runs each year from September 15-October 15.  This marks a wonderful opportunity each year to celebrate the contributions the Hispanic culture has sewn in the fabric of our country. And while we may explore hispanic culture through diving deep into an exploration of specific countries, individuals, or cultural elements we can also provide our students with a glimpse into a culture similar or different from their own through the use of story.  With so many wonderful stories out there (although we could always use even more) that feature hispanic characters written by hispanic authors, it makes for an accessible way to introduce our children to books and characters in which they can not only see themselves but to also learn from cultures that are different from their own. Stories allow us to connect with characters in ways that can open our cultural lens and broaden our world and our understanding of one another.  But we also have to be careful that we are introducing our students to an accurate portrayal of a specific culture or people when told through story and not perpetuating stereotypes even if those books are traditionally popular among readers.   Scholastic has published an article entitled, "How to Choose the Best Multicultural Books"that details how to spot books that transcend stereotypes and use them as part of your instruction that could serve as a helpful resource.

And while this month provides an opportunity to celebrate the Hispanic culture, I hope that we can begin to integrate stories that feature Hispanic and other diverse characters throughout the year as we work to build readers and writers across Northside.  If we begin to read more stories that feature diverse characters we can begin to build a bridge with our students that allow them to articulate not only what makes us each unique, but how we also share common hopes, dreams and daily experiences that sometimes don't make us so different from one another after all.

To learn more about locating quality childrens' books written about and by Latinos check out this link from the American Library Association: 

Also, this blog post written by bilingual educators and activists from their blog De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children discusses the SkippyJohn Jones series for children and how it misrepresents the latino culture. http://decoloresreviews.blogspot.com/2013/04/skippyjon-jones-and-big-bones.html

Finally, Common Sense Media has published an article for parents entitled, "Help Your Kids Find Books with Diverse Characters".  This article provides a list of over 80 books that feature children of color in authentic contexts void of stereotypes.

Featured below are just a small selection of some of my recommendations for books that are noteworthy.  Each would be wonderful additions to your classroom collection of read alouds during this month and beyond.  From traditional folktales to narrative biographies and storybooks, each of these titles are sure to capture the attention of your students and spur rich discussions in class.  Come by and check one today!



Traditional Tales:


Chapter Books:

Nonfiction and Poetry: