WNY Family Magazine September 2018 - Page 27

their reading skills. They point to the words (with their tails, of course), they look at each letter and do their best to sound them out, and they take the time to be sure the words make sense in the story. But the best thing they can do is read to and with an adult who is always there to help them and reassure them. This silly but reassuring book will be a great way to encourage our young readers. Schools have always been a reflection of our society. As our population changes, so do the classrooms and the children in them. While many of us might recall being in classrooms with children that look, act, and speak like us, the classrooms of today are full of different languages, customs, and ways of dressing. All Are Welcome (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2018, $17.99) is a beautiful book to start the school year off on a note of caring and sharing. The colorful illustrations by Su- zanne Kaufman show classrooms, schools, and playgrounds full of children in all shapes, sizes, dress, abilities, and activi- ties. They are perfect for inviting respectful conver- sations about similarities and differences. The simple rhyming text on each page by Alexandra Penfold ex- plains and explores each scene, but always ends with the phrase “All are welcome here.” All kinds of families and friends are represented in this inviting book and a beautiful fold-out poster is perfect to display in a classroom, or at home, to celebrate your respect and value for others, and sets the stage for a posi- tive and engaging new school year. Award Winning Academy of Theatre Arts 2018/2019 ATA Theatre Season FALL REGISTRATION is NOW OPEN! Spots fill up quickly, so sign up today! For more information visit our website! www.academyoftheatrearts.com Call 810 -0551 today! 4231 Transit Road Williamsville, New York 14221 Contact 810-0551 or info@academyoftheatrearts.com As we finish our busy summer with school shopping and begin to settle in to the school year, we come to terms with the “Hellos” and “Goodbyes” that accompany the change in the season and our routines. Perhaps the shorter and cooler days to come will make it a bit easier. Perhaps seeing old friends and meeting new ones will keep us headed forward into a year of learning and growing. Before we know it, we will be saying, “Goodbye” to the old school year and “Hello Summer.” Until then, keep an eye out for books that can help you celebrate every event in between! Dr. Donna Phillips is an associate professor in the Education Department of Niagara University where her specialty is lit- eracy and children’s literature. She lives on Grand Island, NY and is the mother of two adult children. For more information visit MedinaRailroad.com or call 585-798-6106 September 2018 WNY Family 27