Literacy, Books & Advocacy: Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California

 

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I love books. The smell of books, picture books, fashion books, yoga books, and tear your heart out books. This school year, when planning for our year long social studies unit, Friendships & Schools, I immediately thought of literacy. Not knowing if our K/1 class would be able to grasp this big concept, we went ahead and tried.

As we wrap up our learnings, we are blown away by the discussions we have had with our little ones. We investigated the book system, the library system, the literacy system, the friendship system, the school system, and how they are interconnected. Our little ones said:

Books let you travel the world.

Books are my friends.

I can learn about animals because I care about them.

Without books there would be no understanding.

Books teach you about other cultures, and how we are both different and the same.

Books teach you about the Life Skills.

In learning that books and literacy help support one’s overall well-being, our K/1 class took a walking field trip to the local library. The children’s librarian thoroughly shared the many systems found in the library. They were in awe when they saw the vast assortment of books. Then we wondered, “What about the communities where access to books and libraries is limited?”

Kids designed cozy reading spots during BlockBuild.

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imgres-2.jpgWe gathered inspiration from the picture book, Waiting for Biblioburro, by Monica Brown. The book is based on Luis Soriano, the Colombian teacher/librarian who brings books to children in the countryside of Colombia. We discussed that we, as community members have a responsibility to rebuild systems that are broken or unbalanced. In the spirit of Biblioburro, our students partnered with Reading is Fundamental of Southern California (RIFSoCal). Our little ones purchased one new book with the money earned doing various chores. They washed cars, swept the floors, helped with laundry, and even scrubbed handprints off the wall. They also went through their personal at home libraries and chose 3-4 books to donate. Our class then beautifully decorated book bags and used them to store the books. We will be donating the book bags, and the books, to RIFSoCal in an effort to support their mission of literacy and learning in school communities. A big bravo and love hug to our little, yet mighty advocates!

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
―Jorge Luis Borges

 

 

 

Student Made Alphabet Cards – via School Systems

Literacy is…the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential. -Kofi Annan

We are beginning our year long social studies unit of study, Friendships & Schools. Our K/1 students will explore the various school systems in our own community, as well as schools around the world. Students will investigate the impact of literacy on their self-development, how it impacts socio-economic levels, and overall well-being in their communities. Moreover, I hope that my little ones will come to deeply understand the power of literacy and books, and how being an informed citizen gives them the tools to make their community a better place.

 

Essential Questions:

1. How do systems at school help us become good friends and community members?

2. Why is literacy important?

3. What are the benefits of literacy?

4. How can literacy benefit one’s personal development?

5. How do literacy rates affect socio-economic levels in a community?

6. How does literacy impact the well-being of a community?

7. How do libraries support literacy?

 

To begin with, we brainstormed some of the systems at school and used them to create student made Alphabet Cards. They are posted on the wall as a literacy resource, as well as conversation starters as we delve into our unit of study, Friendships & Schools. I love the drawings, coloring and painting used to express their ideas. I’m truly excited about this project and I look forward to sharing our learnings as the year goes on.

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