Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee

Dear Parents, Teachers & Community Members,

The Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee has been working in concert with the Piedmont Unified School District to ensure that the recent hate crime at Haven’s elementary becomes a positive learning experience for us all.  To that end, we have partnered with PUSD K-12 librarians and counselors to compile this list of resources.  We encourage you to speak with your children and each other about bias, bullying and discrimination; here is a list of resources to assist you in that endeavor culled from the collective Piedmont resources.

All of the Piedmont K-12 school libraries have a great many books related to social, religious, racial and cultural diversity.  To supplement the collections the PADC has granted each of the elementary libraries $500.00 this year.  Below, please find a list of a few select titles you may find helpful in engaging your child in a conversation about differences.  Please note that each of the libraries houses an extensive collection and you are welcome and encouraged to stop in and consult with your librarian for more titles.  Indeed, we are grateful to the excellent library staff for their hard work in compiling lists of diversity related materials to make it easy for parents and community members to access these resources.

Titles available from Wildwood school library:

I Have ADream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Text of the speech by Dr. King describing his visionary dream of equality and brotherhood for humankind. K-5

Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester The author introduces the concept of race as only one component in an individual’s or nation’s “story”. 3-5

Exploring Chinatown: A Children’s Guide to Chinese Culture by Carol StepanchukIllustrations, photographs, and easy-to-follow text provide a brief introduction to the Chinese culture, discussing the country’s traditions, celebrations, people, history, cuisine, and arts. K-3

Racism by Angela Grunsell Discusses the issue of racism and explains how readers can take an informed stand against the myths of racial superiority. 4-5

In My family by Carmen Garza Lomas The author describes, in bilingual text and illustrations, her experiences growing up in a Hispanic community in Texas. 2-5

Lots Of Dads by Shelley Rotner Photographs show fathers of various races and back- grounds both teaching and playing with their children and at work. K-4

Titles available from Haven’s school counselor Lori Morris, suitable for K-2:

It’s Okay to be Different and The Family Book by Todd Parr

I’m Like You, You’re Like Me by Cindy Gainer

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

Harry and Willy and Carrothead by Judith Caseley

Titles available from Beach & Havens school libraries:

(These selections focus on diverse holiday traditions)

Magid Fasts for Ramadan by Mary Matthews ,E. B. Lewis (Illustrator)

“In this illustrated beginning chapter book, Magid, a boy of eight, wants to fast during the month of Ramadan like the rest of his family. So, unbeknownst to them, he throws away his lunch each day to keep his promise to Allah that he will fast. The book tackles some serious questions about what religion requires, while demonstrating a warm family life that will have universal appeal. A brief introduction to Islam and a glossary are appended.”  K-5

Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story by Angela Shelf Medearis

“This latest title is an original folktale that will help introduce children to the holiday’s seven principles, while also suggesting how Kente cloth was first created. In a Ghanian village, a father’s will commands that his seven argumentative sons must make gold from silk thread “by the time the moon rises,” without fighting. An introductory section, with glossary and pronunciation guide explaining the principles, and an appended craft activity round out the volume.”  K-5

Elijah’s Angel: A Story for Chanukah and Christmas by Michael J. Rosen, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson

“A child’s vision of religious tolerance is exquisitely played out in this story about an elderly Christian barber and a Jewish child who befriends him. As a hobby, the African American barber makes elaborate woodcarvings–many of which refer to events or characters in the Bible. One day when Hanukkah and Christmas coincidentally overlap, Elijah gives Michael a special gift, a carved guardian angel. Immediately Michael is filled with a jumble of feelings–gratitude for such a beautiful gift, concern that his parents might disapprove, and an even greater fear that God may frown upon a Christmas angel, “a graven image,” in Michael’s home. When Michael finally reveals the carved angel to his parents, they help the young boy understand how expressions of friendship, love, and protection can be carried into any home, regardless of the household’s religion.”  K-5

Feliz Navidad: Two Stories Celebrating Christmas by Jose Feliciano,

“Like an oversized, multipaged, bilingual Christmas card, this gorgeous production’s minimal text consists of the lyrics to Feliciano’s famous song and emphatically wishes readers both Feliz Navidad and a Merry Christmas. The pictures make reference to and contrast many Christmas traditions and symbols, and show that all cultures emphasize families and friends celebrating together.”  K-5

Good and Perfect Gifts: An Illustrated Retelling of O. Henry’s the Gift of the Magi
by O Henry, Barry Moser

“An illustrated reworking of O. Henry’s ”The Gift of the Magi,” set in present-day Appalachia. The struggling newlyweds are Fenton, an auto mechanic who is acquiring his own set of Snap-on tools, at the rate of one piece at a time, and Rebecca, a hairdresser and Sunday school teacher whose prized possession is a quilt that was a wedding present from her late mother. The timeless plot, painstakingly particularized in both text and pictures, will resonate with young readers.”  K-5

Titles & Videos available from Piedmont Middle School Library:

Bullies Are a Pain in the Brain written and illustrated by Trevor Romain; edited by Elizabeth Verdick.  A serious yet humorous guide to dealing with bullies. (Counseling Office)

Bullying: How to Deal with Taunting, Teasing, and Tormenting by Kathleen Winkler.  Author Kathleen Winkler explains what bullying is, why bullies do it, and why victims take it.

Facing History and Ourselves : Holocaust and Human Behavior.  A resource book for teaching about tolerance, prejudice, race relations, and stereotypes. Includes pieces on the Holocaust, conformity, anti-Semitism and other topics related to intolerance and genocide.

Facing History and Ourselves.  Choosing to Participate: facing history and ourselves.  A collection of readings and activities related to democracy and the Civil Rights Movement (specifically the integrating of a Little Rock High School) to be used in conjunction with videos such as “Eyes on the Prize”.

Sticks and Stones  by Karen L. Maudlin, Psy.D.  Provides practical guidance for parents and teachers on how to stop bullies and help victims; explain what kinds of kids bully and what victims and bystanders can do; debunks myths about bullies and bullying; and provides information on related organizations, resource centers, websites, and books.  (Counseling Office)

A Place at the Table Struggles for Equality in America by Hudson and Houston.  This video from Teaching Tolerance presents a group of teenagers from different backgrounds sharing their ancestors’ history and experiences with prejudice and discrimination. Includes teacher’s guide and supplemental readings.

Coping with Discrimination by Gabrielle I. Edwards.  Examines the historical patterns and results of prejudice and discrimination and their effects on such minorities as the homeless, blacks, women, homosexuals, and the handicapped.

A Night with Michael Pritchard sponsored by Piedmont Parents Club.   Comedian Michael Pritchard entertains parents and educates them about prejudice and raising their children to be tolerant people.

What are you? : Voices of Mixed-Race Young People by Pearl Fuyo Gaskins.  Many young people of racially mixed backgrounds discuss their feelings about family relationships, prejudice, dating, personal identity, and other issues.

Race: The power of an illusion The difference between us. [Video recording] This diversity video presents a critical examination of the notion of race as a biological characteristic, and suggests that it is actually a social construct. (Students of different racial backgrounds compare their genetic material and find surprises.

“And Don’t Call Me a Racist!” a treasury of quotes on the past, present, and future of the color line in America / selected and arranged by Ella Mazel.  Over 1,000 quotes on race relations in the United States.

Available from the Piedmont High School Library

Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa By Micol Ostow

Forced to stay with her mother in Puerto Rico for weeks after her grandmother’s funeral, half-Jewish Emily, who has just graduated from a Westchester, New York, high school, does not find it easy to connect with her Puerto Rican heritage and relatives she had never me

Tough Boy Sonatas By Curtis L. Crisler

In this collection of 38 poems, an unflinching narrative offers a view of the boys who run within the confines of the industrial town of Gary, IN. Their lives, unknown to the “groggy commuters” who flash by on the train, are harsh and difficult, bold and passionate.

Kampung Boy By Lat

Relates the life experiences, from birth to beginning boarding school, of a boy growing up on a rubber plantation in rural Malaysia.

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow By Faïza Guène

The Paradise projects are only a few metro stops from Paris, but here it’s a whole different kind of France. Doria’s father, the Beard, has headed back to their hometown in Morocco, leaving her and her mom to cope with their mektoub (their destiny) alone. They have a little help– from a social worker sent by the city, a psychiatrist sent by the school, and a thug friend who recites Rimbaud.

Happy Birthday or Whatever: A Memoir By Annie Choi

Choi’s volatile relationship with her domineering, chronically dissatisfied mother is at the heart of this memoir, an account of growing up in a family of Korean immigrants. The parent/child compact in Choi’s childhood home was as follows: Mommy and Daddy’s job is to take care of the child; the child’s job is to study hard, go to Harvard and become a doctor. But Choi and her mother face each other across a seemingly unbridgeable divide: Annie has little desire to embody traditional Korean feminine virtues (and no desire to be a doctor); her motherÌ®to whom social status is everythingÌ®cannot countenance her daughter’s “shortcomings.”

Sold By Patricia McCormick

Thirteen-year-old Lakshmi leaves her poor mountain home in Nepal thinking that she is to work in the city as a maid only to find that she has been sold into the sex slave trade in India and that there is no hope of escape.

Karma & Other Storie By Rishi Reddi

Reddi’s debut focuses on individuals and families struggling to reconcile their Indian diaspora backgrounds with American life, while attempting to preserve their small, at times contentious, ethnic communities.

Picture Bride: A novel By Yoshiko Uchida

Carrying a photograph of the man she is to marry but has yet to meet, young Hana Omiya arrives in San Francisco, California, in 1917, one of several hundred Japanese “picture brides” whose arranged marriages brought them to America in the early 1900s. Her story is intertwined with others: her husband, Taro Takeda, an Oakland shopkeeper; Kiku and her husband Henry, who reject demeaning city work to become farmers; Dr. Kaneda, a respected community leader who is destroyed by the adopted land he loves. All are caught up in the cruel turmoil of World War II, when West Coast Japanese Americans are uprooted from their homes and imprisoned in desert detention camps.

Along with the titles mentioned above, the PMS and PHS libraries have a wealth of nonfiction and fiction titles dealing with topics such as:  Racism, Race Relations, Sexual Orientation, Prejudice and Bullying.

Web-based Resources

Beyond Hereos and Holidays is a K-12 curriculum and staff development guide used in many parts of the country.  Information can be found at http://www.teachingforchange.org

Teaching Tolerance is a wonderful resource for parents, kids and teachers.  This linkhttp://www.tolerance.org/parents/index.jsp will connect you to the parent’s resource section.  Once there, please find links for materials and articles for each grade level, k-2, 3-5, middle and high school.  Each section has a variety of articles and several recommendations for books on learning tolerance.

Project Implicit Another very interesting link to the Teaching Tolerance site ishttp://www.tolerance.org/hidden_bias/index.html, here you will be directed to the Harvard University affiliated “Project Implicit” where you can take a test to find out what your unconscious biases might be.             “Recent scientific research has demonstrated that biases thought to be absent or extinguished remain as “mental residue” in most of us.

Studies show people can be consciously committed to egalitarianism, and deliberately work to behave without prejudice, yet still possess hidden negative prejudices or stereotypes.”

Anti-Defamation League An excellent resource from the Anti-Defamation League entitled ” What to tell your child about prejudice and discrimination” can be found at the linkhttp://www.adl.org/what_to_tell/print.asp This article is for parents, it provides useful information for talking with children of all ages.