Diverse Literature

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I found this image and the links to it on theconsciouskid on Instagram.

As I stated in my previous post, throughout my entire teaching career I knew that children’s books lacked diversity. I knew that required reading lists, recommended reading lists, and the availability of representative literature in any library was lacking–lacking in terms of culture, language, ethnic, racial, and religious representation.

What I did not grasp, until I saw this image and began a deeper investigation, was how much more work, effort, and searching is required on my part to actually find the few books that are available. What I did not grasp was why I had always had a hard time finding quality, and numerous, options for my classroom.

I have worked in schools that are predominantly Latinx/Hispanic/Chicano and African/African-American/Black, my students deserve stories that mirror their experiences and their voices. Furthermore, even if my students were not predominantly LatinxHispanic/Chicano or African/African-American/Black, every child deserves to see themselves represented, and every child needs to learn how to see and listen to the stories of people unlike them.

This image is a sort of call, for me and you. The work is big, but if we do it together, if we advocate, and share, and make the effort, we can create a more equitable, representative, and inclusive classroom for our students–something each child not only has a right to, but that every child needs now more than ever.

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