Each June, Pride Month aims to highlight, uplift, and celebrate the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community in our country. We asked Early Childhood teacher Michael Roach how he begins to address and teach about gender diversity with even our youngest students, and he offered the following book recommendations and reflections. Thanks for sharing your voice, Michael! Your work goes far beyond your classroom. We will also share book recommendations later this week.
"Looking around the U.S. and finding parades and marches filled with music and laughter while celebrating Queer identities is a joyous and enriching feeling. However this year in particular, many in our community have been detangling the roots of Pride. Before the happy parades and rainbow flags, there was a history of violence and ostracization. The beautiful thing, however, is that we have the opportunity to create a more inclusive and understanding future for our children. Early Childhood is one of the most important times in a child's life to help them recognize the beauty of each person's and each family's differences. By giving them access to diverse materials, books, and communities, you help your child understand that the world can be a vast and beautiful place.
Linked below is a list of 20 books that will help your child to recognize that love looks different depending on the person or the family. Also included in this list are several books that help with understanding gender diversity. The list comprises several new books that have been recently released, as well as some classics. Hopefully, you find some new references to help your child continue to grow into an accepting and loving human, encouraged to let their light shine no matter who they are. Happy Pride Month, friends."