Instability in the (near) future: #YearofYA May 2016

The theme this month is so so important, especially given the release of students for the summer in the coming weeks. Those of us on a traditional schedule are preparing to close the doors to our classrooms, libraries, and schools and we are looking forward to summers away from the grind and responsibilities we face as educators. Several of us take on teacher-roles over the summer, or slide into seasonal work, soak up family time, and the lucky ones, truly get a BREAK. It’s definitely something to look forward to!

But what about the kids? You know the ones. Who bounce between homes. Who fend for themselves. Who might not even have a home to call their own. For many students, school is the safest, most consistent place for them and we lock our doors for 3 months to them.

I’m guilty of flipping off those light switches on the final work day and breathing a sigh of release: no more overdue notices. no more fixing abused books. no more hearing my name prefacing every question or comment. no more thinking about the kids. To be fair, I do think about them – I run into them at the store, at the beach, in the public library. And it gets me thinking: what are they reading? what keeps them busy? should I do more to reach out to them over the summer? Our community is small enough that just about every trip to the library for me involves seeing a student and chatting about books. But that isn’t enough.

For the month of May, your #YearofYA challenge is two-fold: 1) find at least one book that addresses some of the instabilities our students face: from homelessness and child hunger, to family struggles, or abusive situations; and 2) look into local resources that you can share with students, or get involved with in the summer months. We plan to compile a list of books our readers discover this month & resources that will help inspire more outreach in our schools to post on this blog before school is out. Please come prepared to share and/or learn from others!

Our faithful #YearofYA friends @bjneary and @jenniferlagarde suggested this theme that we believe is critically important for all educators. Below are some lists to get you started, but like always, #YearofYA picks the theme, you pick the book(s).

Powell’s list on Homelessness and Poverty in YA

YALSA on “Mending a Broken Heart” reads

LibGuides Homelessness in YA

Teen Librarian Toolbox: Rich Teen/Poor Teen

Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shhh on Poverty in YA

We need to address these topics now, because June is too late to reach many of the kids who need us the most.

Feel free to invite other educators this month to join us and shine a light on these very real issues, and be a part of the discussion on how we can provide solutions to our students in need. We will chat on May 24 at 8PM EST. The link, bit.ly/yearofyaMay16 will direct new readers to this site.

 

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