ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Cultural differences, bullying, even racism are some of the challenges school districts face and a local teacher is doing her part to try and make a change.
West Middle School students flip through the pages of “Just Shades of Brown”.
The author is a familiar one, their CAPA teacher Lana Duncan-Hartgraves. The book was published three years ago but is just now starting to take off. It addresses multi-cultural issues like racism.
“I lead an open discussion about race and how it doesn’t matter," Duncan Hartgraves explained.
8th grader Chenekiquwa Peterson has experienced racism and says skin color shouldn't matter.
“We’re all the same color, it doesn’t even matter what color you are, just because we all look different don’t mean anything.”
That’s something this story has taught her and other students.
As part of the extended book project on other social issues, 7th grader Darryus McCoy put together a work of art about ending gangs.
“I’ve had kids who did something like genocide of Africa because they’re starting to see outside of themselves that the world is a big place and they can make a difference.”
Lana hopes more students, nationwide, will learn to make a difference through these words and art. Lana wrote the book while she taught at Thompson Elementary about 15 years ago. She did the illustrations as well, which students helped her pick out for the book.
There is a teaching lesson that comes with the book. They’re being sold at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and eBay.