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Reading key of the week: courage

• Mar 16, 2018 at 12:30 PM

On Feb. 1, Mary A. White Elementary School kicked off an initiative called #CommmunityOfReaders.

Through their initiative, the Grand Haven school invited families and the community to join with them in reading “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate. Throughout the next seven weeks, educators are sharing “keys” to reading. This week’s key is courage.

The following information is from local educators and “Every child a super reader: 7 strengths to open a world of possible” by Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell.

For families and residents reading “The One and Only Ivan,” the suggested reading this week are pages 217-259.

What is courage? “Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.” - Mary Anne Radmacher

Having courage means doing things that are hard and developing the strength to always speak the truth.

Courage is important in life and reading, and is critical for change and growth to happen. Books provide windows into worlds where there are strong examples of courage and justice, as well as examples of the opposite. When considering examples in literature as well as the real world, think about different kinds of courage, such as standing up for what you believe in, fighting for a cause, doing something that no one has ever done, taking a risk, creating a new idea, or challenging the ways things have always been done.

What do we want children to think? “I have the strength to do something I know is right, even though it may be difficult.”

Ways to develop your children’s’ sense of confidence:

● Talk about book or movie characters who were courageous, and discuss what type of courage was present.

● Read books that address themes of courage

● Ask open-ended questions such as Where does courage come from? What made it grow inside these characters? How is it growing inside you?

● Create a family definition of courage and set “courage goals”

● Share family stories about acts of courage

Recommended books:

“Courage” by Bernard Waber

“The Hundred Dresses” by Eleanor Estes

“Heat” by Mike Lupica

“I Am Helen Keller” by Brad Meltzer

You can connect with Mary A. White and other readers on social media and help create a #CommunityOfReaders.

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