Gina, Executive Director of Preschool:
“It has been a delight to receive a package from OurShelves in the mail and each time open it up to find little gems of stories we can use in our classroom. Some are books we put right on our shelves for kiddos to access and some we intentionally read together as a group and think them as part of the curriculum. We recently did a little inquiry into space and the same week we received a package in the mail with Rocket Says Look Up by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola. It was a heavenly delight to offer children a positive story that aligned with our curriculum and which centered a young black female space enthusiast.
We strive to offer anti-bias curriculum at our program and we can’t do that without access to media which reflects and represents a wide variety of identities. OurShelves keeps helping us to find new books which are positive and representative of a wider array of the people in our community, introducing us to books we haven’t heard of or seen before.
Thank you for all the intentionality you are putting into this so our educators, families and children can access quality, representative media in our school program.”
Barbara, Montessori Teacher:
“As a mom of a preschooler, and a teacher of about 30 preschoolers, I am very satisfied with my subscription to OurShelves. I actually got two memberships, one personal and one for my students, and it has definitely been a worthwhile investment. I am a lover of classic fairy tales, and early in my career I tried to expose my kiddos to “the classics,” but it didn’t take long to feel that, with only these standards, something was missing from my students’ experiences with literature. I also began to recognize some of the problematic aspects these limited stories presented to a modern and diverse classroom. My school places a lot of emphasis on multiculturalism and diversity, and finding stories that reflected this for my students was sadly challenging and time-consuming. OurShelves has made this part of my job much easier. I love that my students can see children who resemble them presented in different; contexts, modern, imaginary, and folk tale, as well as scientific. Broadening the scope of where my students can identify themselves within their own library gives me hope and confidence that they will then broaden the scope of where they will place themselves in their lives and communities as they grow older. And I am so grateful that my daughter will see these stories that fall outside the realm of what I would know to reach for. OurShelves is an invaluable resource for this teacher/mom, and I think every school and library should have more stories like these in their selection.”
Kailina, Public School Teacher:
“As a kindergarten teacher, one of my primary goals for the year is to ensure that each of my students feels valued, worthy, and seen. A positive relationship with students is one way to do this, but my words can only go so far. Reinforcing the fact that they are valuable can be challenging, but showcasing diverse and traditionally underrepresented characters in books is a powerful way to do it. OurShelves makes this easy; my students with two moms or two dads, my students of color, my gender nonconforming students, and my students with disabilities can find themselves in the books that OurShelves delivers. They can relate to these characters. They see that people like them are valued -- both in the story and in our classroom. It's powerful. It's important. It's revolutionary. That's why I always look forward to my OurShelves delivery!”
Heidi, Waldorf Teacher:
“I teach in several different schools and I signed up for OurShelves to bring more diverse books into these classrooms. Without exception, the books are well-written, thoughtful stories with beautiful artwork. These books allow me to bring literature that represents all of my students in my lessons. This is essential for each student to feel that they are a welcomed, valued individual. Students need to see the breadth of our actual society in the books they read and the stories they are told. Children form their world views partially through the stories they are told by the adults who care for them. With the books I have received from OurShelves, I am able to create a more inclusive classroom.”
If you’re a teacher and have any questions about OurShelves, please reach out to info@OurShelves.com. Thank you for what you do!