The "Bookshelf Diversity" project grew out of the RUT partnership Arts in Action with Exeter High School ninth grade English teachers in their unit on justice, equity, and social change. In her class presentation, student Ingrid Janicki's project "Bookshelf Diversity" emphasized bringing more voices to our students' worlds/ perspectives and not in tokenism through performative diversity, but instead, healthy readings that honor natural inclusiveness versus reading diverse books on Chinese holidays or celebrations of progress for under-represented groups. Ingrid advocated for reading books as if most stories could have people of any identities playing out the plot lines as well.
The topic "Bookshelf Diversity" endorsed by the Racial Unity Team was introduced for the first time in 2021 at the UNH Summer Literacy Institutes.
Here is Ingrid’s essay Schools Need To Reexamine The Common English Curriculum, or visit the link to hear Ingrid Janicki's talk and her teacher's praise of her work following the end of her talk.
Every year the Racial Unity Team hopes to celebrate Bookshelf Diversity and for 2022 our theme is Stronger Together: This highlights how together with the support of our sponsors, doners, and teachers we can make Granite children and young adults stronger and more connected with each other through project like "Bookshelf Diversity" in their respective classrooms.
Opening Call: Win $500 to diversify your classroom library!
Racial Unity Team is now accepting submissions (explained below).
Deadline Monday, 10/10/2022 by 11:59 p.m.
Prompt Why is bookshelf diversity important to your classroom library and/or philosophy of teaching?
Criteria Answer the prompt in 450 words (or fewer)
in a style of your choosing.
Eligibility Applicant must be a full-time pre K-12 classroom teacher in a New Hampshire public school.
Submission link Click to access submission entry form
Applicant must have a working classroom library.
Applicant must be willing to be included in Racial Unity Team promotional materials, e.g., social media sites/news articles and be willing to participate in research into the effectiveness of diverse classroom libraries on student outcomes in reading.
We will select one winner from each of the five New Hampshire state Executive Council Districts. Find your district by city or town name
We see this as a growing partnership beyond this immediate opportunity and, therefore, envision applicants to be interested in working together on future endeavors.
The books are given to you to support your work as a classroom teacher - not to your school/ school district. Please be sure this is clear to your administrators before you apply. If you leave the district to teach elsewhere, the books go with you. If you leave teaching, we encourage you to gift the books to a teacher and classroom that you feel these books would benefit.
Applicants must be willing to be contacted about books read and favorites among the selections to assist us in creating an ongoing list of recommended books.
Don't keep it to yourself, let other teachers know. Share this link https://racialunityteam.com/bookshelf.
Do you have questions bring it to our attention besides providing you with the answers, we will display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulate Jennifer McCall, Thetford, the winner of the Bookshelf Diversity 2021 award. Your voice expressed precisely what the author of the project, student Ingrid Janicki, desired would come forth: your wish that your students will “discover . . . things they might want to change and your hope that their reading will help foster empathy with the result of making a generation of people who are better than those who came before them.”
We’re excited to deliver a set of books to you and invite your input so that we may bring books you most want (and do not already have) for your classroom library. Please see the list at the end of this email of books suggested by Ingrid. We welcome your list of levels, genres and exact titles you would like to add to your library, and we’ll begin our work to deliver your award.
Thank you for enriching this program with your entry,
Ingrid Janicki, Kristina Peterson, Dennis Magliozzi and Adam Krauss
The project Bookshelf Diversity - supported by the Racial Unity Team may be reviewed by reading Ingrid’s New York Times editorial here Schools Need To Reexamine The Common English Curriculum or by visiting presentations found on https://racialunityteam.com/
2021 Recommended Books Grades 9-12
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorrell
Frankly in Love by David Yoon
What Lane by Torrey Maldonado
Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson
Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay