inclusion: 13 Articles

They’re So Flamboyant

How do you welcome newcomers? How do you include others in your community? They're So Flamboyant by Michael Genhart, PhD explores inclusion, exclusion, and the stereotypes, fears, and assumptions that can lead to discrimination. Each band of birds—a gaggle of geese, a dole of doves, a charm of finches, a brood of chickens, a scream of swifts, and an unkindness of ravens—all have their feathers ruffled and express their apprehension when a “flamboyance” of flamingos moves into the neighborhood. Bright pink colors, long legs, how dare they! Even a watch of nightingales patrols after dark. When the band of jays decides it is time to settle down the neighborhood, the pride of peacocks takes the lead, with support from a waddle of penguins, a venue of vultures, a mob of emus, and a gulp of cormorants. Finally, they all land at the flamingos’ welcome party only to realize that they had all been birdbrained. Their new neighbors are actually quite charming, and not so scary and different after all. Read an excerpt from They're So Flamboyant.

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They’re So Flamboyant 2021-11-29T14:32:33-05:00

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

Library Features Yes, I Can! in Inclusion Read Aloud

Tina Dolcetti is a Children's Librarian at Moose Jaw Public Library in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. She recently held a video Bedtime Story read aloud on Facebook Live where her guest, Russell Hippert, a Special Olympian, read Yes I Can!: A Girl and Her Wheelchair by Kendra J. Barrett, DPT, Jacqueline B. Toner, PhD, and Claire A. B. Freeland, PhD. We asked Tina about that experience and choosing books to share with young readers.  Magination Press: Why did you choose Yes I Can!: A Girl and Her Wheelchair for Russell to read? Tina Dolcetti:  I chose this because all children need to see books about characters who mirror their situation or who open windows onto new worlds. While there are more books about children with disabilities, we need to keep developing within this area! Finding inclusive sports picture books was difficult, especially books where we had access to online read aloud permission. This book was the only book I found that featured wheelchair bowling. Having worked with a bowling athlete who used accommodations, the illustrations, to me, reflected the bowling alley experiences of a person using a wheelchair.  MP: Yes I Can!: A Girl and Her Wheelchair and the other books your guest read focused on inclusion. Why is that an important topic for young children to explore? TD: Inclusion is so very important. It fosters a culture of respect and understanding. More important than that, being inclusive benefits ALL children. Books with representation allow children to see all people as valuable contributors. Our Bedtime Stories program focuses on inclusion.  MP: Beside the message of inclusion, what else about Yes I Can!: A Girl and Her Wheelchair appealed to you? TD: It is full of girl power and positive problem solving.  MP: Why is it important for children to see a diversity of people and experiences reflected in children’s books? TD: Children deserve to meet new heroes within their community, and to hear a diversity of voices! Diversity may validate their own experience or broaden it. They learn to see new possibilities. There is an opportunity to develop empathy and for acceptance. MP: How do you choose topics for your read alouds? TD: For my Bedtime Stories, I make my best effort to find books that relate to the story of the reader. Each reader tells me about their history, or what appeals to them. I do my best to find a book that relates to that.  MP: And how do you choose the books that will be read? What challenges do you encounter when looking for books? TD: I purchase through the standard ordering channels, including standing order lists, book review media, etc. It is hard, since not all books that are popular feature kids who are diverse, and not all that do have the subject headings that are searchable! Despite my diligence, sometimes books on specific disabilities can be harder to find than others! It was also more difficult to find a book that had open reading

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Library Features Yes, I Can! in Inclusion Read Aloud 2021-08-10T13:53:52-04:00