Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Why is Diverse Literature Important in All Classrooms?

A start to our diverse books lending library: picture books on top,
upper EL and MS in the middle, HS on the bottom. 
Thoughtful conversations and planning with SOEL and IDLL teachers, guidance on text selection from guest speaker Dr. Laura Jimenez from our Responsive Teaching Institutes, a wish and a book list from the late YCS teacher Caroline Jacob, and ongoing collaboration with Dr. Shayla Griffin, Culture and Diversity Consultant at WISD, are all part of helping us build and shape a county-wide lending library for diverse books.  After selecting some K-12 diverse texts, SOEL met with Dr. Griffin to help understand and communicate why diverse and multicultural literature is important in all classrooms. Dr. Griffin says:
 1. Multicultural books act as mirrors that affirm, validate, and celebrate our children’s identities and lived experiences and the contributions people like them have made to the world.

Dr. Shayla R. Griffin, PhD. 2018
2. Multicultural books act as windows that expose students to the diversity of the broader world. 

3. Multicultural books can help students and educators interrupt bias and prejudice. 

Stay tuned for more on the Caroline Jacob Memorial Diverse Lending Library available in the 2019-2020 school year for Washtenaw County educators. 

What are We Reading to Learn? 

SOEL Teachers summarize, review and recommend books from
professional reading time this year
Professional books, and the time to read them, has always been part of SOEL since we formed in 2013. 
A few of our titles this year were:

  • Every Child a Super Reader: Seven Strengths to Enter a World of Possible, by Ernest Morrell and Pam Allyn, was a favorite for a second year in a row.   Centered on Belonging, Curiosity, Friendship, Kindness, Confidence, Courage and Hope as Super Reader strengths, this book will certainly be on our SOEL list again next year, as it connects specifically to Essentials #1 and #10

Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Essential Instructional Practices in Literacy- One Day Overviews

 August 1st for grades K-3 at WISD 8:30-3:30

At the end of each session, registrants will be invited to join the SOEL network for the 2019-2020 school year. 

Disciplinary Writing InstituteJune 24-25 at EMU

Register here- Disciplinary Writing Institute 

Participants will be given an invitation to join the IDLL network after completing the institute. 


  1. I think the Lending Library is such a fantastic idea! I was really thankful to have a preview of this wonderful resource this month.