Read Across SMSD November: Gain New Perspectives

Read Across SMSD November: Gain New Perspectives
Shawnee Mission School District

Shawnee Mission has a chance this November to meet Myltin Bighorn. This multi-sport athlete and University of Kansas graduate is a member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes. While completing his bachelor’s degree, he served as the first Lone Bear/H.Roe Bartle Rotational Intern in Kansas City, learning the operations of the NFL and getting to go to the Super Bowl.

More recently, he visited Shawnee Mission South High School to help all who Read Across SMSD “Gain New Perspectives” during the month of November.

Click here to see a video.   

Kaitlin Shulman, diversity, equity, and inclusion coordinator, joined Bighorn during his visit to Shawnee Mission, along with Shawnee Mission South students Prince Miller and Ava Harris to discuss how everyone can learn more about the diverse knowledge, histories, and cultures of Indigenous Peoples.

The National Education Association (NEA) elementary book chosen for the month of November is “Contenders: Two Native Baseball Players, One World Series,” by Traci Sorell. This book highlights the experiences of two Native American men who played in the 1911 World Series.

Bighorn shared details about his own experience pursuing athletic-related opportunities for college and career. He also talked to Shulman, Miller, and Harris about an Indigenous Athlete he admires: Jim Thorpe.

“In my book, he is the greatest athlete because he was a professional in so many sports, an Olympic Gold medalist, and such a leader,” he noted. 

In conversation with Shulman, Miller, and Harris, Bighorn expressed that there are multiple ways to Gain New Perspectives about Indigenous Peoples. But, if they have an opportunity to sit down and talk with someone who is Indigenous, like himself, they should take it.

“It gives you a chance to listen and try to understand,” Bighorn encouraged. “Another good way to learn is by reading books by Native authors.”

November Reading Resources

Read Across SMSD is modeled after the national Read Across America program and is led 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 November titles, encouraging readers to Gain New Perspectives:

NEA Book List:


“Contenders: Two Native Baseball Players, One World Series”

By Traci Sorrell

Click here to learn more.

Middle Grade

“Indigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledge”

By Deidre Havrelock and Edward Kay

Click here to learn more.

Young Adult

“Man Made Monsters”

By Andrea L. Rogers

Click here to Learn More

The links above provide activity ideas, discussion ideas, reflective writing questions, and related resources for more titles to try for each age group.

Click here to find out more and participate in Read Across SMSD. Post your participation on social media using #ReadAcrossSMSD.