Book of the month: Using student publication to celebrate diversity and combat stereotypes
Now more than ever, America is struggling with its own identity. Ain’t I An American? kindles the conversation around identity among young people in a way that challenges and exposes the assumptions we make about each other.
Having more than one way to define yourself is both something to celebrate and a source of tension. Society often celebrates fitting in, not standing out. Readers of Ain't I An American? will be challenged by strong emotions, deep questions, and truthful experiences as its student authors work through critical questions surrounding their identity.
USING THIS PUBLICATION IN THE CLASSROOM
Ain’t I An American? is a powerful text that can provoke inquiry and critical thinking as students investigate what it means to be an "American". The narratives and illustrations included in this publication call the reader to new ways of seeing difference and celebrating diversity.
We invite you to use this text to help cultivate community at the start of a new school year. Curate a gallery of photo essays, collages, or drawings to represent your students' experiences. Present research findings alongside these images as statistics, create mini documentaries, and conduct interviews that will inform and persuade others to think differently about identity in America. Students speak to these issues in ways politicians can’t, and we encourage you to provide a platform for their voice! By prompting students to document and envision America as a place where they belong, we can celebrate the multiple identities of all people in our nation.