This month, our Superintendent Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen encourages everyone across the District to read books that foster inclusion. Our social and emotional learning (SEL) books for the month of December are Ish by Peter Reynolds for elementary readers, Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper for middle school readers, and Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert for high school readers.
December Theme: Inclusion
We identify ways to include all individuals and recognize the multiple perspectives that come with learning and physical differences.
- In Ish (elementary school readers), drawing is what Ramon does. It’s what makes him happy. But in one split second, all that changes. A single reckless remark by Ramon’s older brother, Leon, turns Ramon’s care-free sketches into joyless struggles. Luckily for Ramon, though, his little sister, Marisol, sees the world differently. She opens his eyes to something a lot more valuable than getting things just “right.”
- In Out of My Mind (middle school readers), 11-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, but no one knows it. Most people — her teachers and doctors included — don’t think she’s capable of learning, and until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows…but she can’t, because Melody can’t talk. She can’t walk. She can’t write.
- In Little & Lion (high school readers), Suzette comes home from boarding school to settle into her old life. She soon realizes her brother needs her emotional support but also realizes she is falling for the girl her brother loves.
Responsible decision making enables students to keep in mind multiple factors—such as ethics, standards, respect, and safety concerns—when making their decisions. This competency includes students’ capacity to identify problems and develop appropriate solutions to those problems, whether they are social or academic problems.