On May 9, author and staff development leader Donalyn Miller visited
educators within the district. Mrs. Miller, also known as the “Book
Whisperer,” is passionate about the importance of “free-choice reading,”
and travels all over the country sharing guidance and resources with
educators to help foster the love of reading in children.
During her presentation, Mrs. Miller traveled through different genres
such as short non-fiction, young adult and graphic novels, recommending
new books from each wheelhouse. She emphasized the importance of
teaching stories that promote inclusivity, and exposing students to
stories from diverse people groups that they may not have heard
otherwise — stories about important historical figures like Harriet
Tubman, Harvey Milk and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Mrs. Miller recommended different approaches to teaching these books in
the classroom, helping students to develop their own reading identities.
One such approach was an unconventional way of study — focusing on the
text itself, then the historical context, and finally, the
illustrations; each as a separate entity.
“As lovers of literature, we know the books we read can truly change and
shape us,” Mrs. Miller said, “and we should do everything in our power
to help our students recognize that same truth for themselves.”