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Culture & Diversity August 2020 NEWSLETTER

Updated: Aug 25, 2020

Sometimes I don’t know which is harder, watching the news on television or reading Facebook. This is the world they live in and some parents might want to put their heads in the sand, but your child’s future depends on learning to get along with others in our increasingly shrinking world.

Tolerance means adopting an attitude of openness and respect for the differences between people. It is about valuing dissimilarities and learning from them, rejecting stereotypes, bridging gaps and finding common ground with those who don’t look or think like you do.

Select books and videos carefully, keeping in mind that respect for others should be major criteria. This month, I have selected a wonderful list of outstanding books to help your young one appreciate differences. When you encounter examples of prejudice or stereotyping in the media or in everyday life, talk honestly and compassionately about them to your child. Some questions are difficult, but we can’t ignore differences. We need to learn to speak respectfully about them, especially to our children.

Happy Reading!

Sylvia Hermosillo

Director of Content

Quote of the Month:

“There are many little ways to enlarge your world.  Love of books is the best of all.”
–Jacqueline Kennedy

Book Recommendations:

1. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage To Be Who You Are 

By Maria Dismondy  (Author), Kathy Hiatt (Editor),and Kim Shaw (Illustrator) is about a young girl who faces being different and has to decide how to best handle the situation The author, Maria Dismondy, not only writes, but also publishes children’s books that address character issues that young students face. Her inspirational stories are a must-read for parents trying to raise kinder children (K-4 th grades).

2. The Hundred Dresses

By Eleanor Estes and illustrated by Louis Slobodkin won the Newberry Award for outstanding children’s literature in 1945 and has stood the test of time. The story centers on a young Polish girl who moves to Connecticut and is teased by the other school girls because of her tattered old dress she wears to school daily. She claims to have one hundred dresses at home, but the other children know she doesn’t and they bully her horribly. After she moves away, the girls realize how hurtful they have been…but there is no longer time for apologies (1st-4th grades).

3. Whoever You Are

Written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Leslie Staub is an artistic little book with a big message. It teaches that we can celebrate the differences in our customs, our skin color, and languages and that we can celebrate our similarities because all children laugh, smile, cry, hurt and love. Rather than ignore our differences, we need to embrace our similarities (Pre K-2nd grades).

Ask a Reading Teacher

Dear Reading Teacher,

My neighbor’s boy is not yet three and he knows all of his ABC’s, but my grandson is

already three and I don’t think he knows any of them. Won’t he be behind when he starts kindergarten?


Peter’s Grandma from Santa Fe


Dear Peter’s Grandma,

Children start recognizing letters between ages two and three, and some parents start teaching the alphabet around age two. Children who have been read to regularly get the idea that text is made up of letters and that together they form meaning.

So, the first step is reading regularly with Peter. If you don’t see Peter often, consider gifting books to him often to plant the seed. Your next step would be introducing fun alphabet games. Write his name in refrigerator magnet letters, or write his name on his artwork. Make sure he knows that it is his name. Point to each letter that make up his name then help him think of other words that start with the same sound. As you are out and about, point out signs and read them. “After a stop sign what else can we find that starts with the same sound?”

Above all, Grandma, remember it is all fun and games. Also remember that Peter might just not be ready. Children are ready at different times and no study has found that early alphabet recognition is an indicator of intelligence or of better reading skills later in school.

Happy Reading!


The Reading Teacher


Reading With Daisy

This program fosters the love of reading through pets! How fun is that? Children are encouraged to read 15 minutes to their pets: dogs; cats; goldfish; or even a pet rock!


Send us a short video or photo of your child reading to his or her pet or stuffed animal and we’ll share on our social media platforms! Send email or photo here:


Join us next month when we will be looking at our community and different types of people work together to help it run smoothly! Want to know the best books about firemen? Can girls become electricians? Who are the community workers that make our cities work?


"As someone whose parents immigrated from Mexico, I understand the beauty of blending cultures. Stop and look at your family tree…you’ll see how diversified your family is. Look for a book that relates to your culture and share with your friends!”
-Global Give-A-Book Founder, Sylvia Maser

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