GRPL’s Innovative, Thought-Provoking Book Club Helps Kids Explore Social Justice

GRPL Social Justice feature image

Help Curious Kids as Young as 4 Navigate the World Around Them Through This Book Club

My 6 year old: Wouldn’t that be funny if there was a famous basketball team with girls on it?

Me: Nope! There ARE professional basketball teams for girls; they can do anything boys can do!

Every now and again, my kindergartener will give me a glimpse into his little brain; he is always so observant and curious. However, I’m not always prepared to have the conversation at hand!

How do I explain gender equality to him? What about racial justice?! The world they are growing-up in can be difficult to understand. It’s hard to know age-appropriate conversations about these tough topics.

The Grand Rapids Public Library has teamed up with the School of Social Work at Grand Valley State University to help parents and caregivers facilitate conversations with our kids about social justice .

GRPL Social Justice talking

GRPL Meets Kids Where They Are Based on Age

Social Justice Begins with Me: a Book Club for Kids is back for a second year at the Grand Rapids Public Library. The goal is simple: allow kids to explore complex social justice topics through literature .

The book club is for children ages 4-11 years old. During the meetings, kids are broken up into developmental age ranges (4-5 years, 6-8 years, and 9-11 years) so that all children can have meaningful conversations about the topics at hand.

Kids will spend time in small groups reading related children’s books, discussing the topic of the week, enjoying a small snack, and completing a related activity.

GRPL Social Justice activities

This Book Club Goes Beyond the Walls of GRPL

It Lays the Groundwork for Tricky Conversations at Home

During discussion times, volunteers assure children that it is a “kid led space” and there aren’t any wrong comments. It gives kids a safe place to ask questions and explore topics that can be complicated to navigate.

Best of all, it lays the groundwork for parents to continue the conversation at home. The book club gives parents ways to talk to their kids about tricky subjects. By referring to characters in the books read, parents can help their children make connections to the world around them.

GRP Social Justice kids

Put Social Justice Begins with Me: a Book Club for Kids on Your Fall Calendar Today!

Social Justice Begins with Me: a Book Club for Kids meets the 2nd Saturday of the month at 10:30 AM at GRPL’s Main branch ( 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503). The book club is free and there is no registration required. The topics this year are as follows:

  • Saturday, September 14, 2019 – Racial Justice
  • Saturday, October 12, 2019 – Older Adults/Ageism
  • Saturday, November 9, 2019 – First Nations People
  • Saturday, December 14, 2019 – Poverty and Hunger

It’s encouraging to see the local community willingly walk alongside families to help us raise the best humans we can! Start the tough conversations in a safe space at Grand Rapids Public Library this fall.

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111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids

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