I can hardly imagine what it’s like to be a preschool-to-primary teacher right now trying to plan a lesson on some of the typical beginning of the year curriculum topics.
“All about me”: I describe myself. My classmates describe themselves. We talk about similarities and differences.
“Community helpers”: We learn about the people who work in our community, like the police.
Whether you’re a parent, a student, or a teacher you may be having a really hard time this week as you watch the news (or react to grown-ups watching the news). I’m certainly seeing this among family and friends. While I don’t have easy answers, I want to share what we have at the library. We have some books to help you talk to children about scary things in the news, general resources for coping with stress, and old favorite books and movies if you decide to take a break from news or social media and just gather together as a family.
I really don’t know of any children’s books that talk about contemporary police shootings. The Southern Poverty Law Center has an online collection of resources at http://www.tolerance.org/racism-and-police-violence to help with discussing the topic and help make students feel safe and supported so they can learn. We have books at the library that can help you talk to children about race and racism.
We have also helped recommend books for a police officer who was visiting a classroom and wanted to read aloud to the students. (He wanted funny books. I asked if his feelings would be hurt if I suggested something with donuts? The answer was no, and he did check out a doughnut story.) We have funny picture books and simple factual books about police. Whatever you need, we will do our best to help you find it.