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I Can Be That Too!

Educator Nadine A. Luke writes children’s books that reflect young people of all backgrounds and specifically children of color. The Palmdale Elementary Teachers Association member’s 2020 I Can Be That Too! series shows and tells young readers that there are no limits to their dreams, no matter their skin color or socioeconomic background. The Musician, The Veterinarian Fashion Designer and The Gymnast are available in English and Spanish, with accompanying activity books. And don’t miss Luke’s They Call Me Africa, about a boy’s journey as he copes with racism and bullying by his classmates. At njlukepublishing.com and Amazon.

Kudos All Around

Props to Karalee Wong Nakatsuka, Arcadia Teachers Association; Karla Zambrano-Armijos, United Educators of San Francisco; and Andrew Williams, Gilroy Teachers Association. All were mentioned in Time magazine’s “Educators Who Saved a Pandemic School Year” in September.

Eighth grade history teacher Nakatsuka was praised for quickly adapting her lesson plan in March, after a gunman in Atlanta killed eight, including six women of Asian descent. Her district is 70 percent AAPI, and students were already fearful of anti-Asian hate crimes amid the pandemic. She chose to focus on the history of anti-Asian discrimination in the U.S., and made all students feel comfortable speaking up about their feelings and experiences.

In March 2020, family support specialist Zambrano-Armijos was suddenly asked to coordinate an hourlong daily TV show for San Francisco kids during lockdown. Selected because of her expertise in early childhood education, she had the SF Loves Learning program soon airing on a local TV channel and streaming on YouTube. She called on the city’s museums, the San Francisco Ballet, and the public library to help with segments on science, movement, literacy and more. The show ran for three seasons. Williams, as we reported earlier this year, has been building desks for needy students during the pandemic. Congrats to all!

Show Us Your Swag

We love seeing new swag our locals come up with, such as these items from Selma Unified Teachers Association. We want to see yours — ideally worn by members. Post pics to CTA’s Facebook page or email us at editor@cta.org with the hashtag #CTAlocalswag.

Got something for this page? Tell us at editor@cta.org with “Lit From Within” in the subject line. We lean toward new(ish) work that can be used in the classroom.

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