Kansas City librarians say books help tackle difficult problems – Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-02-17 16:49:46 –

Kansas City, Missouri — Kids may be learning about Black History Month at school, but experts say it’s a great starting point for continuing those conversations at home.

According to local librarians, talking to children about racism and racial injustice in an age-appropriate way is as easy as sitting with the right books.

Molly Drova, an early learning librarian at the Kansas City Library, said the focus should be on teaching empathy to children under the age of five.

“So I put books in your house or check out books from libraries with children of different races, especially this month to celebrate black children and black parents,” she said. It was.

But it’s important not only in February, but all year round, she said.

Regardless of race, Drova said reading about other children in their daily work helps young children see similarities rather than different skin shades. Finding expressions in their readings is especially important for minorities, she said, especially noting “I’m all good” by Derrick Burns.

“The purpose of this book is only to celebrate the splendor of black boys,” Drova said.

Melanie Femmeller, an elementary school coordinator at the Johnson County Library, said it was just as important for older elementary and junior high school students. For racing, books can serve windows, mirrors, or sliding glass doors, according to Fuemmeler.

“Thinking about windows, how can you see other perspectives through a book? How can you see yourself in a mirror, literature?” She said. “And the sliding glass door is a book that has to take us to different places.”

The Johnson County Library offers a community-based book club where parents and children gather for library-led discussions after reading the same book. The Johnson County Library will also host a race webinar in March. This webinar includes “This book is an anti-racist” by Tiffany Jewel.

“It’s great because it gives a lot of education about what the experience is for the Brown and Black people in our community and then asks you to think with it,” Huemmeler said.

She also said it was important to talk about these subjects in a safe place with guidance. And, as her fellow Johnson County Librarian Tiffiany Lynn points out, as children grow older, they read, see, and hear these issues themselves.

“It’s really unfortunate for teens to deny the ability to look in books and look in windows and mirrors,” Linne said, saying that at this age students can tackle difficult topics from gun violence to shooting. He added that he could.

Linne said that fiction and non-fiction works help teens deal with the emotions surrounding race and racial injustice.

And for black teenagers, finding a black writer is important to them, she said.

“I know that many writers reading today say they’re writing because they didn’t see someone like themselves. They had to read a book about the white protagonist they enjoyed. But it wasn’t like them. “Linne said.

On the other hand, according to Linne, it is just as important for white teens to read stories written by someone with a different perspective.

This story was first published by Caitlin Knute. KSHB..

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