What do you hope kids get out of the lesson?
Mina: In the lesson, we unpack those myths mentioned above. We also talk through some important events in AAPI history that are rarely taught, like the Chinese Exclusion Act and the murder of Vincent Chin, which was a turning point for modern day AAPI activists. [Note: an amazing young adult book about Vincent Chin is From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry by Paula Yoo.] We also celebrate modern day AAPI heroes! We hope this lesson gives an introduction to kids about how diverse the Asian American experience is.
Saanvi: When we learn about America's history, the narrative is so non-inclusive, when its actual history is very vibrant and diverse. I really hope that kids can look at the curriculum and see themselves in it.
Do you recommend great children’s literature that focuses on AAPI experiences? (I’m thinking about, for instance, the amazing new anthology You Are Here or the incredible works of Erin Entrada Kelly. We could go on and on!) Do you focus at all on book banning? It’s such a huge issue right now, isn’t it?
Mina: Wow, that's so true. We have a resource list of AAPI books and media on our website, but it’s constantly evolving. Adding a write-up about book banning is a great idea. I’m sending this idea to my Editor-in-Chief, Anna, and we’re going to blog about it!
Mimi: Some amazing literature pieces featuring AAPI are Juna’s Jar, Inside Out and Back Again, and A Step From Heaven.
Johanna: One great children's graphic novel that focuses on AAPI youth experiences is American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. It is humorous with a great message!
Saanvi: We're always hearing about different districts trying to get rid of books about critical race theory, and it's so important for communities to mobilize to prevent bans because censorship takes away valuable parts of our history that we have every right to know about.
What would you like to tell other kids about adventuring?
Mina: Adventuring is the best! It’s important for us kids to grow and learn about ourselves through adventures and try out new things! Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone means adventuring in social situations too—like trying to talk to new people and those from different backgrounds.
Mimi: Don’t be afraid to take a risk and follow your journey wherever it takes you. Don’t let your own fears hold you back from all the experiences and memories you have left to make.
Saanvi: If there's something you want to see or something you want to change, don't wait for someone else to do it. You are a powerful adventurer in your own right. Put yourself out there, pursue your passions, and always remember that your life is an adventure.
Johanna: Adventuring is different for everyone, but what stays the same is that an adventure is not always comfortable. I think the space between comfort and something new is an adventure. And to always be looking for something new is an everlasting adventure.