In the Shawnee Mission School District, February is an opportunity to lead with love, learn, and make positive change.
The elementary-level Read Across SMSD book this month is “Love is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement” by Sandra Neil Wallace. This biography tells the story of how Nash organized sit-ins, coordinated peaceful marches, and became a strong leader in the fight to stop segregation. No matter what the challenge was, she led with love to make positive changes.
A group of Shawnee Mission School District students engaged in Youth Equity Stewardship (YES) gathered recently to talk about the ways they lead with love in their school communities.
“YES is a group that empowers us to use our voices to help create change,” Shawnee Mission South senior Ace Cofield shared. “No matter what age we are, there are things all of us can do to lead with love and make our schools and communities a better place every day.”
Several high school seniors shared examples. Katie Murphy, a senior at Shawnee Mission East High School highlighted the importance of being a good listener. “It’s a great way to learn about the people around you!”
Shawnee Mission West senior Ariana Kamugisha lifted up the importance of getting to know new people. A’Miya Ewing from Shawnee Mission Northwest shared that looking for ways you can help people makes a big difference. Miguel Tapia Becerra encouraged students to speak out and talk to trusted adults.
“We want to thank Diane Nash and those who walked beside her and honor all who have been inspired by her example,” Cofield added.
February Reading and Learning Resources
Read Across SMSD is modeled after the national Read Across America program and is led in Shawnee Mission in partnership with NEA-Shawnee Mission. Access to books for Shawnee Mission students is made possible through the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation.
Here are the Read Across America February titles from the NEA book list:
“Love is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement”
By Sandra Neil Wallace
“We Are Your Children Too: Black Students, White Supremacists, and the Battle for America’s Schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia”
By P.O. Connell Pearson
“The Sum of Us (Adapted for Young Readers): How Racism Hurts Everyone”
By Heather McGhee
The links above provide activity ideas, discussion ideas, reflective writing questions, and related resources for more titles to try in each age group.
Click here to find out more and participate in Read Across SMSD. Post your participation on social media using #ReadAcrossSMSD.