What Is Reading Is Resistance?
Our project is an online based website that provides information about the Reading is Resistance program. The Reading is Resistance project was started by our instructor, Zapoura Newton-Calvert, as a project through her Little Free Library in N. Portland. Her Little Free Library is dedicated to the free exchange of literature for kids and youth. The goal of the Little Free Library became to supplement the donations received with the purchase of books that represent the diversity of our neighborhoods, not only in language, but also gender, ethnicity, values, and more.
For this project, we focused on working through a Social Change Perspective. Social change refers to the idea of social progress. Our blog posts and diverse Little Free Libraries are examples of ways that we aim to make changes as a small group that will have a large impact in our community and in society. Culturally diverse literature can be difficult to find in some communities. Making culturally diverse literature readily available to children in the community is a great way to introduce children to different languages, cultures, cuisines, music and more.
What We Did
This term we continued making progress on the Reading is Resistance website. As a team, we came together to create new content on the website through blog post such as “Banned Books You Should Be Reading”, “How to Teach Your Child About Diversity” and more. This content was developed in an effort to create more resources for community members to find and utilize diverse reading materials. Our team created several bookmark designs to place inside of the books distributed in the Little Free Libraries with more information on how to access culturally diverse reading materials and to learn more about the Reading is Resistance Project. We started a list of Portland area Little Free Libraries, so our community members can find a Little Free Library in their neighborhood. We hope to that every child no matter their heritage will have access to books that reflect their characteristics back to them so that can feel connected to the content they are reading.
Why It Matters
Our group focus was on creating blog posts for the reading is resistance website that included lists of multicultural literature and where to find it. Multicultural literature is a powerful tool that enables children and students to develop a greater understanding of other cultures as well as their own. This deeper knowledge allows relationships to be strengthened and gaps to be bridged among students of culturally diverse backgrounds. Children of the 21st century are global participants and it is important for them to possess cultural sensitivity.
Developing a library collection of culturally diverse literature and making sure it is used in a schools curriculum, helps build a community that is supportive, empathetic and accepting of others. Culturally diverse literature helps create a sense of belonging and builds a connection between home and school.