24-C by Beverly

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Another week, and another letter. This week we focus on C.

C is for Compassion and courage..

As we make connections with people, we come to care for them and show compassion. It takes courage to love, to share our lives and hearts with others. It also takes courage to live an honest, compassionate  life, one where others are treated with respect and dignity.

In this day and age, we need both compassion and courage – to face down the hate, the bigotry that surround us.

There are many role models for us to be inspired by: – Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Desmond Tutu, Anne Frank, Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt ,Princess Di, Jimmy Carter.

Step up. Actively cultivate compassion and courage. Make our world a better place.

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23-Z by Beverly

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We have now come to the end of Round 23 – Z marks the finale of this round.

Z can be many things – the zip in your step, the zoo for animals, the beauty of zinnias, winning a lottery with 6 zeroes.

But Z also stands for the Zodiac. Through time astrologers have predicted futures, based on the position of stars, sun and moon. Who hasn’t read their horoscope from time to time. We may scoff, but many believe strongly in having their horoscope read.

The zodiac is made up of 4 elements, with 3 signs for each:

Water – Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces

Fire – Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

Earth – Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn

Air – Gemini, Libra and Aquarius

I am sure most of us know our signs and maybe even what traits are associated with them.

I am a Capricorn. Here is an art tag with that sign that I created:

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Check here to learn more about the history of the zodiac or about the signs.

 

23-W by Beverly

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This week at ABC Wednesday, W is the letter of focus.

W is for Window.
We all look through windows of our homes expecting to see our neighbourhood, our yard or maybe even someone walking by – something familiar. Windows though can provide an unfamiliar view when we are travelling.

Books as well can be windows on the world around us, offering us views we are familiar with, or more and more, views which we are unfamiliar with.

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Dr. Rudine Sims-Bishop stresses the lack of diversity in children’s books:

“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books. (1990, p. ix)”

Too often, children fail to see themselves in books. As Felicity LuHill says:

“When it’s good, reading can be both a window and a mirror. In this way, diverse children’s books are windows and mirrors. They allow us to see new things about others and ourselves. The trouble occurs when texts for early readers provide only one view, and it’s a mirror for only a select few.”

Chad Everett makes this point:

“Viewing literature through a lens of windows and mirrors helps us understand that, in addition to texts being stories to be enjoyed, they are powerful tools of social justice.”

 

We all need diverse books. In this fractured world where it is often “them vs us”, where racism and hate are growing, now more than ever we need windows that show our diverse world and mirrors that reflect our uniqueness.
Throw open the window. Look at the world in wonder and acceptance. We need diversity, we need tolerance.

 

Check out the following, which look at the need for diversity in books, especially for children:

Shannon Hitchcock

Why We Need Diverse Books

Ted Talk by Grace Lin