A couple of weeks ago I co-facilitated and Advisory Group Roundtable for the MERGE for Equality Children’s Book Campaign. Participants included: Lori Chaves of Head Start, Ashley Kerekes of Square One, Sumanth Prabhaker of Pioneer Valley Books, Kathie Lange of Head Start, Maria Bedard of Square One, Kieran Slattery of Northampton Public Schools, Andrew Grant-Thomas of EmbraceRace, Megan Dowd Lambert of Simmons College, Maria Garcia of Northampton Public Schools, James Arana of MERGE for Equality, and Jean Canosa Albano of the Springfield City Library. We discussed a longlist of books I’d created for possible inclusion in the campaign, and, as always, I saw and learned so much from other readers as they brought their insights and expertise to bear upon the titles I’d selected.
Since then, I’ve been working with MERGE Executive Director, John Engle, and Operations Manager, Page Brody, to review the committee’s feedback and take next steps in the Campaign. On November 30 I will participate in MERGE’s fall 2017 Healthy Men and Boys Training in Springfield, MA, to announce the next titles in the Campaign and to provide participants with tools for engaging children in critical discussions about picture books and gender representation. I will draw upon my co-constructive Whole Book Approach storytime model and discuss how it can serve as a foundation for engaging children in discussions about how words, pictures, and design construct character and convey ideologies around identity and power.
Interested? Follow the link above for more information or contact me with questions about registration and program details.