Thank you to Newton’s Cultural Development Department has teamed up and Newton Community Pride for promoting springtime fun with Family Fun Day. Thank you also to Story Starters who invited me to join their storytime event for Newton’s Family Fun Day 2021.
Story Starters equips families with strategies to raise kids with anti-racist values and together inspire racial justice action in their communities. Their program provides parents with research-based skills, curated books, and parent guides for engaging in conversations about race with kids aged 3-8 years old.
Once parents have made habits of talking and learning about race in their home, they provide the opportunity for families to engage in community conversations and become changemakers in their communities.
Their next program will start in mid-September, if you are interested in registering for the program sign up here. To learn more about Story Starters and find ways to support their work visit their website.
Ellie from Story Starters invited me to present Sumo Joe to Newton families.
To make Sumo Joe more interactive, I decided to act out each page. Here we are all counting to ten in both English and Japanese as we walk down the stairs with Sumo Joe and Aikido Joe to get breakfast.
When Sumo Joe and his friends tied on their mawashi (sumo belts), we did too. We also learned some sumo. Here we are learning shiko, the stomping exercise that is used both to make sumo’s legs strong, and to chase away demons before a bout.
It was such a fun event. Thank you again to Newton Family Fun Day sponsors and organizers and Story Starters!
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Mia Wenjen shows shiko sumo move from Sumo Joe picture book.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.