California Educator

December/January 2019

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T R U E S T O R Y : In 2013, two teens were riding the bus home from school in Oakland. While Sasha, who appeared male but was wearing a skirt, slept, Richard lit the skirt on fire. It left severe burns on Sasha, a white, agender private school kid. Richard, 16 and an African Amer- ican public school student, was charged as an adult with two hate crimes. The 57 Bus, by Dashka Slater (grades 9-12), explores the very different lives of these teens and our assumptions about gender iden- tity, adolescent crime and penal racism. Its themes of tolerance and forgiveness will resonate with students. "I am Black. I am Unique." Through photos and poetic text, Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children, by Sandra L. Pinkney and Myles C. Pinkney (pre-K, kindergarten), conveys pride in a distinctive, diverse heritage. It is a book of affirmation for African American children, celebrating varied skin tones, hair texture and eye color. In Lola, a book in Spanish by Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz and illustrated by Leo Espinosa (grades 3-5), children in Lola's school come from faraway places. When the teacher asks students to draw pictures of these places, Lola is at a loss — she doesn't remember the island she left as a baby. With help from family and friends' memories, her imagination lets her journey back to the island. She comes to understand her grand- mother's words: "Don't remember a place, it doesn't mean that it's not part of you." CTA's California Reads offers teacher-recommended books for students at all grade levels. Find them at #californiareads T H I S Y E A R ' S P A R T I C I P A N T S in CTA's Ethnic Minority Early Identification and Development (EMEID) program (above) are part of the largest class ever. EMEID promotes and develops ethnic minority leadership in CTA. It builds on existing CTA/NEA programs, trainings, conferences and events, and incorporates coaching and interaction with leadership from local chapters, CTA/NEA, and CTA Board members and staff. Ethnic minority CTA members interested in broadening their knowledge of the association and exploring a possible role in leadership can apply for the 2020-21 program online starting March 1; application deadline is April 24, 2020. Go to Biggest. Class. Ever. Riveting Reads teacher — family back mother's it's books 11 D E C E M B E R 2 019 / J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 0

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