From Librarian Erin Sterling
We are excited to announce that in the next few weeks all students will be starting the Eckstein Anti-Racist Readaloud in their social studies classrooms, with additional discussions in homeroom classes. This will also go along with monthly community discussions and presentations in the spring.
What is it?
Many schools and cities (like Seattle!) have done a one-book study to have a common text to ground discussions and build community. At Eckstein, we will use 3 texts centered around anti-racism: 6th graders will read This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell; 7th and 8th graders will read the young adult version of Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi; and students in special education stand-alone social studies classes will read Civil Rights Then and Now by Kristina Brooke Daniel. Every week, students will listen to 10-15 minutes of each book in class and have a guided discussion.
We encourage families to participate as well! Each month, we will be organizing a community discussion. Look out for further information about this! We are also planning on working with the PTSA to organize some presentations in the spring to discuss some of the ideas in the books. This could include an author visit, a panel discussion of local Black activists, student presentations, or other ideas.
What Eckstein would like from you
While students will be listening aloud to the entire book all in class, it will be helpful for them and families to have their own copy. Please let us know in this survey if you are planning on purchasing a copy for your student or if you need Eckstein to get a copy for pick-up or delivery.
Let the librarian Erin Sterling know at if you would like to help in any way with the Eckstein Anti-Racist Readaloud and Community Discussions!
Why the focus on anti-racism?
The intent is to expose and eradicate false logic in order to help all of us — students, staff, and community members — build a stronger, more equitable society. The readaloud, community discussions, and presentations can help explain how Black people have been locked out of employment, education, and housing for the entire history of our country and also give ideas for how to move forward. As Ibram X. Kendi writes in his introduction to Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You, "The first step to building an antiracist America is acknowledging America’s racist past. By acknowledging America’s racist past, we can acknowledge America’s racist present. In acknowledging America’s racist present, we can work toward building an antiracist America. An antiracist America where no racial group has more or less, or is thought of as more or less. An antiracist America where the people no longer hate on racial groups or try to change racial groups. An antiracist America where our skin color is as irrelevant as the colors of the clothes over our skin. And an antiracist America is sure to come. No power lasts forever. There will come a time when Americans will realize that the only thing wrong with Black people is that they think something is wrong with Black people. There will come a time when racist ideas will no longer obstruct us from seeing the complete and utter abnormality of racial disparities. There will come a time when we will love humanity, when we will gain the courage to fight for an equitable society for our beloved humanity, knowing, intelligently, that when we fight for humanity, we are fighting for ourselves. There will come a time. Maybe, just maybe, that time is now."