diversity.: 8 Articles

Celebrate Diversity with Books

October is Global Diversity Awareness Month.  Magination Press celebrates diversity in all its forms. It’s important for all children to see themselves reflected in books. Here are some of our recent publications that will engage young readers and can spark conversations about the world around them. Race and Ethnicity The Heart of Mi Familia by Carrie Lara, which was named a National Council on Social Studies/Children’s Book Council Notable book, follows a young girl as she works with her abuela and her grandma to create a wonderful birthday present for her brother. The gift celebrates her multicultural family and honors both sides and generations of her family. This follow-up to the award winning Marvelous Maravilliso: Me and My Beautiful Family is a must-read for all families. Lulu the One and Only by Lynnette Mawhinney, PhD, which one named one of Bank Street Colleges Best Children’s Books of the Year and a National Council on Social Studies/Children’s Book Council Notable book,explores the experience of a mixed-race child as she is repeatedly asked inconsiderate questions and how her brother helps her craft a powerful response.  Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart, PhD describes how a child brings his bicultural family together through music.  LBGTQ+ and Identity Papa, Daddy, & Riley by Seamus Kirst, which one named one of Bank Street Colleges Best Children’s Books of the Year and a National Council on Social Studies/Children’s Book Council Notable book, follows a little girl as explores what makes a family. After encountering questions about her family structure, Riley and her dads identify what every family is made of:  love. Jacob’s School Play: Starring He, She, and They by Sarah and Ian Hoffman chronicles how Jacob’s class finds itself unexpectedly struggling with identity, and what it means to be “he”, “she”, or “they” as they prepare for a school play.  Jacob’s School Play is an engaging way to introduce young readers to non-binary people and the pronoun options available to us all. Jacob’s School Play is a follow-up to Jacob’s Room to Choose, a book about gender expression. My Maddy by Gayle Pitman presents a child’s description of her gender-nonconforming parent. Publishers Weekly says the book “highlights the joy of in-between things—hazel eyes, sporks, sunrises, motorcycles ('It's not a car or a bicycle. It’s kind of both, and it’s something all its own') —gently illuminating the idea that people, too, can exist beyond categorization.”   Differently Abled Kids Brilliant Bea by Shaina Rudolph and Mary Vukadinovich explores the experience of a girl with dyslexia and how her teacher helps her find a way to showcase her strengths. Yes I Can!: A Girl and Her Wheelchair by Kendra J. Barrett, DPT, Jacqueline B. Toner, PhD, and Claire A. B. Freeland, PhD reflects the experience of a child who uses a wheelchair and how she can do almost everything the other kids can, even if sometimes she has to do it a little differently. Home and Family Issues Home by Tonya Lippert depicts the

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Celebrate Diversity with Books 2021-10-28T20:12:13-04:00

Feathered Friends Teach About Inclusion

Collective noun: a noun such as "team" or "flock" that refers to a group of people or thing A drumming of woodpeckers A regatta of swans A waddle of penguins A happiness of larks A flamboyance of flamingos Feathered friends are flustered when flamingos move into the neighborhood… This story is a welcome springboard for age-appropriate discussions of assumptions, stereotypes, and inclusion. Engaging wordplay makes a serious point about inclusion. —Kirkus Reviews They’re So Flamboyant by Michael Genhart, PhD, is a story about inclusion, exclusion, and the stereotypes, fears, and assumptions that can lead to discrimination. Indirectly, They’re So Flamboyant also refers to the word “flamboyant”—a word traditionally used in a derogatory sense to refer to someone who is gay. This story playfully reclaims the word and shows the flamboyant flamingos as gracious and neighborly, modeling positive and welcoming behavior for the other birds. Conversations with children about the assumptions and stereotypes that can lead to excluding behavior are vitally important if we are to live in a world that is more inclusive, fair and welcoming. Here are some tips to help you talk with kids about inclusion and discrimination. Conversations about diversity should be straightforward, open, and honest. As children notice the world around them and ask questions, adults can have age-appropriate conversations with kids about age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, body type, disability, income-level, or religion. Since stress associated with discrimination can affect self-esteem, talking with children about diversity as well as modeling inclusivity can help kids learn to appreciate people from all backgrounds. While, in the story, the flamingos model welcoming behavior, it’s important to let kids know that it is not the responsibility of those being discriminated against to make others feel comfortable.

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Feathered Friends Teach About Inclusion 2021-10-14T18:51:14-04:00

Helping Your Child Embrace Their Cultural Identity

Children with two different cultural backgrounds can sometimes feel as if they live in “two different worlds.” When they visit one side of the family they may feel like they do not quite fit in, and then have the same feeling when visiting the other side of the family. Sometimes people feel like they have to reject one culture to belong to the other, which is then rejecting a part of themselves, suggesting something is wrong. This adapted excerpt from the Reader’s Note in Magination Press book, The Heart of Mi Familia, by Carrie Lara, PsyD, provides insight into the bicultural experience and strategies for parents and caregivers to help children appreciate and celebrate their cultures, the cultures of others, and the beautiful diversity of life experiences. Research on cultural identity and immigrant populations has found that people end up in either a state of acculturation, assimilation, or marginalization. In the attempt to join and find belonging, there can be marginalization and rejection of the dominant culture, or assimilation which leads to a loss of the home culture. Acculturation is the balance of both, being able to adapt within the dominant culture for “survival,” but also maintain a connection to the home culture. This is the healthy balance that we would want people to have. However, children who have been able to develop this healthy balance can still have a feeling and experience of not quite belonging to one culture or another. For example, when visiting family where another language is spoken, relatives might note a child speaks the language with a different accent, but when they go home and speak the local language there, people may remark on an accent as well, making the child feel like an outsider in both places. Here are some ways to help your child celebrate and appreciate their cultures and feel at home in their experience. Acknowledge differences For children, as little social scientists, making observations of their surroundings and experiences every day is part of their learning and development process. When your child observes similarities and differences, acknowledge their observation and help them to learn and understand. Accept that there are differences, and not only note the differences exist, but discuss why. Is it because of religion? Is it because of regional food? This, in effect, discourages any developing thoughts or feelings that a difference in culture is wrong. It gives meaning. Support exploration Children start to identify with their own cultural/racial identity around the age of 3-4. This identification comes from the interactions they have with their family members, teachers, and community. By age 7-9, children are more aware of the group dynamics around culture and race. This includes the histories of their own culture and how their culture is similar, different, or a combination of other cultures. This is even more important for children of multiple cultural histories. A child may, at certain times in their life, feel more identified with one or the other culture in their background. This

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Helping Your Child Embrace Their Cultural Identity 2020-11-16T21:24:59-05:00