MSU launches social justice reading group for kids

January 12, 2017

Young kids listen to a storyMichigan State University faculty members hope to inspire kids to take action against injustice in their community through a new program at East Lansing Public Library.

The Social Justice Reading Group will start this month for children ages 4-11. Once each month through May, various faculty members will read children’s books related to a specific social justice topic, such as race/ethnicity, gender and social class.

After the reading, there will be breakout book discussions led by MSU teacher candidates and a craft activity for younger children related to the month’s theme.

“The aim is to encourage young children to become social justice-oriented and feel empowered to advocate for justice through their examination of critical literacy,” said Dorinda Carter Andrews, assistant dean of Equity Outreach Initiatives in the MSU College of Education.

Carter Andrews is organizing the program along with Georgina Montgomery, associate professor in the MSU Lyman Briggs College. Funding comes from the College of Education, the Department of Teacher Education, Lyman Briggs College and the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies at MSU.

The first meeting of the Social Justice Reading Group will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Jan. 21 at the library, 950 Abbot Road. The topic will be “Who Belongs Here” with faculty readers Helen Veit and Glenn Chambers.

Spots are limited, so families should check online for registration.

January books: 

“Two White Rabbits,” by Jairo Buitrago
“Amelia’s Road,” by Linda Jacobs Altman
“The Colour of Home,” by Mary Hoffman
“Welcome,” by Barroux

February books: 

“Whoever You Are,” by Mem Fox
“The Other Side,” by Jacqueline Woodson
“Ron’s Big Mission,” by Rose Blue and Corinne Naden
“Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for
Desegregation,” by Duncan Tonatiuh
“Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington,” by Jabari Asim”
Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez,” by Kathleen Krull and Yuyi Morales