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More diverse character and author books are joining Ralya's classroom libraries.

 It is commonly understood that books play an important role in elementary classrooms to support literacy development; however, books can also be one useful tool to support children’s social-emotional development. Recently the Foundation for Haslett Public Schools awarded a $2500 grant to Katie Bennet at Ralya Elementary. This grant was used to purchase picture books written by diverse authors and featuring diverse characters. It is critical that Haslett students experience books as mirrors through which they see characters who look like them and/or have similar life or cultural experiences in the texts they read. In this way, books serve as a tool to affirm children and their experiences. Additionally, picture books serve as windows through which there are opportunities for children to learn about the experiences of others as they interact with characters who may not look like them. As such, diverse texts can help instill empathy among readers. These diverse books that Mrs. Bennet was able to purchase through the FHS grant will undoubtedly enrich the learning experiences for all Ralya students.


In addition, this set of books will further support the “Be Nice” action plan. As part of this initiative, students develop skills to support their mental health and sense of well-being by learning to identify strategies to use when they are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Through their interactions with the books’ characters and the concurrent classroom discussions, children will gain a better appreciation for their unique characteristics as well as learn to identify and elevate others as they ultimately work to uplift the well-being of those in their communities. Furthermore, the books provide students with opportunities to understand the benefits of gratitude and support students as they take an active role in creating a positive community environment.


As the district continues to actively address their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan, diverse books written by diverse authors help educators to achieve the goals outlined in the plan. These books were made possible by generous donations made to the Foundation for Haslett Schools. With your help, we can continue to support the critical work of our Haslett teachers. Please donate to our campaign today. 


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