SEL Reads. Dr. C Leads. September Books of the Month Focus on Individuality

This month, our Superintendent Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen encourages everyone across the District to read books that promote individuality and positive self-concept. Our social and emotional learning (SEL) books for the month of September are Hair Love by Matthew Cherry and Vashti Harrison for elementary readers, Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman for middle school readers, and Night by Elie Wiesel for high school readers.

September Theme: Individuality and Positive Self-Concept

We are aware of the importance of each unique identity and the strengths we all bring as individuals.

Book Summaries

  • In Hair Love (elementary selection for September), Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her — and her hair — happy. Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair — and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.
  • In Seedfolks (middle school selection for August and September), a Vietnamese girl plants six lima beans in a Cleveland vacant lot. Looking down on the immigrant-filled neighborhood, a Romanian woman watches suspiciously. A school janitor gets involved, then a Guatemalan family. Then muscle-bound Curtis, trying to win back Lateesha. Pregnant Maricela. Amir from India. A sense of community sprouts and spreads.
  • In Night (high school selection for September), a teenager is wracked with guilt after having survived the horror of the Holocaust and witnessing the genocide of his family. This book reveals his memories and his perseverance.

SEL Competency

Self-awareness is the ability to recognize one’s own feelings, interests, and strengths, in addition to maintaining an accurate level of self-efficacy. Students who are self-aware are capable of describing and understanding their own emotions. In addition, they are capable of recognizing their own strengths and weaknesses. Students’ beliefs about their own strengths and weaknesses influence the academic choices they make, how long they will persist on tasks, and whether or not they will ask for help on academic tasks.

Several copies of each book are available at school libraries/media centers and can also be found in myBackpack via Class Pass @APS.

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