Educator and author Sherlett Hope-King knows first-hand the importance of diversity in the classroom setting.
“With my background in early childhood education, literacy and reading have always been a big focus in every lesson plan that I put together. I have worked with children from as young as two years old up to twelve years old. We always have different types of books, especially to help children learn about other countries and spark their curiosity to know more about their world,” Hope-King comments.
In the United States, the number of people from different ethnic groups has been increasing in the last decade. A study by the Houston Chronicle concludes that almost all communities are diversifying, with more inhabitants from racial and ethnic minorities than ever before.
When perusing an international bookstore in Santa Monica, Hope-King noticed that her home country of Belize was missing from the shelves. To fill this gap, she decided to write “Holidays at Grannie and Dod’s”, a book that was inspired by her own Belizean heritage.
“There is so much to learn about Belize, and I only cover the tip of the iceberg in my book. The intention is to provide teachers, students, and parents with a teaser that will make them want to investigate further and learn more about the country.”
The book includes the sensory experiences, from smelling her grandmother’s cooking, to tasting the local spices and hearing Belize’s reggae beats. It is the author’s hope that this will provide a framework around which curricula can be designed.
“I wanted the book to be a prompt for other activities—an experiment with music, for example, or an experiment with cooking,” adds Hope-King.
The book also emphasizes the importance of family values. “It’s all about family,” explains the author. “Having such tight family ties was so important to me growing up, and it is a value I wanted to share with others who may not have this strong foundation.”
Publisher Lisa M. Umina comments, “We all have a unique story about where we come from, and this book will help children not only to learn about a new country but to think about their own origins and family histories.”
For more information about Sherlett Hope-King visit www.halopublishing.com. “Holidays at Grannie and Dod’s” is now available at Halo Publishing International, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Books a Million in Hardcover for $21.95, Paperback for $14.95, and as an e-Book for $5.99.