Guest post from the co-founder of Globe Smart Kids, Anne Glick
No better way to start a new year than with Multicultural Children’s Book Day right around the corner! Excited to be a returning author sponsor with 10 diverse friendship stories, all bundled in a virtual library: One Globe Kids
Stories about relatable others lay a foundation for exploration
The idea for One Globe Kids was born one afternoon while I read the children’s book Joyce’s Day to my then 3-year-old son in our apartment in New York City. The book was printed in South Africa in 1974 and given to me as a newborn present by my Aunt Joan in 1975. Its photos and simple text made Joyce’s day in South Africa relatable to me, a young, white girl living in small-town Illinois.
From beginning foreign language study in middle school to studying and working abroad, I strongly feel that my preparation for life in a diverse globalized world can be traced back to the simple curiosity I had for Joyce and her family.
I went looking for more “Joyce-like” books for my son Sebastian and found several beautiful, but basic, mostly illustrated, books about children in other countries. I did not find the personal, intimate, rounded stories that would make these children more familiar than foreign for him. And thus began my journey to make the international story series that I want to share with my kids, Sebastian and his two brothers, Willem and Josef.
Fighting bias and prejudice through stories
Even when foreign travel is unrealistic, and I can’t teach them the words and sounds of a new language, I have the power to help shape how they see others and how they interact with them. Stories will help me do so.
Meanwhile, One Globe Kids has grown from two stories about kids in Haiti, to a non-profit education program, helping young children grow up feeling safe, happy and excited about interacting with diverse others. I believe that with relatable stories and the help of a child’s imagination, we can tackle prejudice before it begins.
My hope is that one day, there is no longer a need for an event like #MCBD, because all kids will have access to an inclusive library. That one day, we can stop talking about ‘diverse books’, because all books are made by all and read by all. Until that day, let’s keep going, together, and #maketheforeignfeelfamiliar with the help of stories. Happy MCBD2019!
Anne Glick is the co-founder of Globe Smart Kids, maker of the One Globe Kids program. She authored and photographed the global friendship stories that are the core of the program. Her TEDx and blog share more about how stories can foster diverse friendships in young children.
Globe Smart Kids, Inc. is an American 501©3 non-profit organization with the mission to make the foreign feel familiar to children worldwide. We use storytelling, technology, and research to move children beyond prejudice and toward mutual liking and friendship outside their familiar bubbles. Our main program is One Globe Kids.
What if you could travel the world all by yourself? Without a grown-up. Without luggage. Without a plane ticket or a long bus ride. And what if, in every country you visit, a new friend is waiting to show you around? If that sounds like fun, then come along and explore the world with One Globe Kids!
One Globe Kids is an award-winning virtual library of global non-fiction stories and friendship activities for children 4 – 10 years old. Children can currently read and/or listen to friends in Haiti, Indonesia, The Netherlands, Burundi, New York City and Israel. They can practice speaking new languages and draw comparisons between their lives. One Globe Kids enables young children to experience friendship beyond geographic, linguistic and other boundaries that limit their connection with diversity.
Current One Globe Kids virtual library of global friendship stories:
- My Haiti – Valdo
- My Haiti – Gabou
- My NYC – Luna
- My NYC – Lucian
- My Burundi – Jenissa
- My Israel – Maya
- My Netherlands – Lars
- My Netherlands – Floor
- My Indonesia – Larasati
- My Indonesia – Aji
Access the stories via iOS app for iPhone or iPad or by computer via www.oneglobekids.org. Stories come with friendship activities, a standards-aligned ELA curriculum for K-2 and lots of activities for at home and in the classroom. They are also the proud recipients of the following awards:
- Ehon Digital Education Materials Award, Japan
- Finalist Early Years Excellence Awards, UK
- Academics’ Choice Award for Smart Media, USA
- Education App store5-starr Award, UK
- Ashoka Re-imagine Learning Challenge Pacesetter – #play2learn
- Scholastic – One of 6 best Social Studies apps & 50 awesome apps for teachers, USA