Our hearts bleed thinking about families being separated at the border. We ask ourselves is this the America we know and love? If we are honest, families being separated is very much part of our history since slavery, but it doesn't have to be our future. How can we teach our children to be part of the solution and not part of the problem?
We recommend literature. Read not just to learn more, but to be unable to ignore the problems around the world. The following books tell tales of those who not only persisted in knowledge and purusing their dreams but they resisted those who said it couldn't be done.
All around the world are little boys and girls being told that their dreams dont matter. In She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, Chelsea Clinton introduces young readers to thirteen inspiring women who have shaped history all across the globe by speaking up and standing up for what they believe. She Persisted Around the World is a book for everyone who has ever aimed high and been told to step down, for everyone who has ever raised their voice and been told to quiet down, and for everyone who has ever felt small, unimportant or unworthy. The illustrator, Alexandra Boiger's illustrations are bold, bright, and vibrant. The illustrations are beautiful and magnify the inspiring text to show readers of all ages that, no matter what obstacles come their way, they have the power to persist and succeed. We love this book because of the variety of occupations, cultures and abilities featured.
Hidden Figures, based on a true story is a book popularized by its 2017 movie, telling the tale of NASA mathematicians Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) cross gender and race lines to help launch astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into outer space. If your child loves STEM, this is a great encouraging read.
Perhaps your child learned that in some countries girls are not permitted to go to school. Perhaps they have heard about Malala who was shot on her school bus because of her advocacy for girls. Perhaps learning more about Malala will help our children to appreciate the privilege and freedom to learn and to make every advantage of every book, pen, and teacher. Please read every day this summer with your kids. The future depends on it!