We Are All Readers and Writers
Representation is powerful.
Many students of color have lacked rich representation in literature and informational texts and while we still have a long way to go, there have been wonderful recent books that center the experiences and perspectives of people who have been marginalized.
We Are All Readers and Writers is for teachers, leaders, parents, family, and community members who see themselves as readers and writers and want to help develop the next generation of readers and writers so that our collective stories and what we all believe is possible can grow.
We hope you take this journey with us and explore the wide array of stories that open up new words and worlds for us all!
About the Series
Over the holiday season, we partnered with Brain Lair Books—an independent bookstore in South Bend, IN, that shares our passion and commitment to “provide books that uplift marginalized voices”—to create a Holiday Wish List. We hope you will use the list to purchase books for your own children and families, and that you would also consider purchasing a few books for your local Catholic school’s classroom library. This season of giving is a great time to gift children with books that expand their vision - both their ability to see themselves in new ways and to empathize with others.
Wangari's Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter
Featuring Beatrice Okello, 1st Grader at Our Lady of Hungary School
Let your children choose what they want to read. Their motivation and engagement will be higher if they read something they have chosen themselves and that they are highly interested in. They can read anything! Picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, magazines, recipes, their own written stories! Let children choose how they want to read. Read in different ways - sometimes have your child read to you, sometimes you do the reading, sometimes read together.
Be fully present and engage with your child while reading. Ask questions such as what do you think will happen next? What do you think is happening in that picture? What do you think this book will be about? What did you learn from this story? How can this story make us better? If you are the one reading, do voices for different characters and make the story come alive.
Protect time for family reading by making the time sacred. Make reading with your children daily as important as praying with them and going to Mass. Get creative when time is tight. You don’t have to read in the same way every day or evening. Your child can read to you while you're cooking, giving a younger sibling a bath, or other daily activities.
Be authentic to who you are! Talk to your children about your own habits, likes, and struggles as a reader. Share some of your favorite stories with your children. Give children windows, mirrors and sliding doors. Windows allow them to understand the experience of others. Mirrors allow them to see themselves reflected in books, and sliding doors allow them to step inside the world of another. Make sure your children know that reading is important to your family and that as a family, we are all readers and writers!
Watch the Episodes
- NPR Book Concierge - Filter this site for kids books and find great selections for different ages of students.
- We Need Diverse Books - Collection of diverse books and authors.
- Black Lives Matter Instructional Library - Resource provided by Newark Public Library.
- Michigan Essentials Video - Providing access to a wide range of text and teaching students how to choose.
- Michigan Essentials Video - Classroom libraries featuring culturally relevant texts.
- Virtual Read Aloud and Planning Guide - An example of a script for a virtual read aloud and a planning guide.
- Comprehension Focused Read Aloud - A planning guide for comprehension based read alouds with additional resources.
- 2021 Summer Reading List - Diverse selections categorized by age level.
Subscribe to Get New Episodes