Civic Action Strategies

Children’s literature has the power to inspire, educate, and engage readers in social action. In order to foster civic engagement, children need as a foundation three characteristics: to care about something, to have the confidence to take action, and to have the skills to know how to engage in their public life. Children’s literature – both fiction and nonfiction – is full of inspiration and examples of children and adults who act as agents for social change. These books therefore connect children to what they care about, build their confidence in themselves to take action, and show them that they have power to help others and effect change.

As a civic engagement consultant, Julie specializes in helping people build their civic engagement, advocacy, grassroots organizing, and social action skills. She is fluent in Spanish, and has spoken and published extensively at library, teacher, and writer conferences, in the media, and in scholarly journals about civic action strategies and building life-long civic and political engagement.

Julie offers consulting services and workshops for educators to help incorporate civic action into existing language arts curricula, or to supplement teaching with civic engagement teaching tools.

Workshop: Introduction to Using Picture Books to Spark Civic Action

Fostering a life-long love of reading and books also promotes the understanding, skills, and ability to actively participate in public life and to advocate for social change — as children and adults. This workshop discusses the ways in which young children’s literature inspires, explains, promotes, and builds life-long civic actors and engagement. Learn:

1. What is “civic engagement,” and why it’s an important component of language arts education. (Hint: Schools are “incubators of civic skills.”™)

2. The connection between empathy and action in children’s literature.

3. Specific picture books, advocacy tools, and lessons that foster children’s confidence and ability to engage in civic action — now and in the future. The workshops are interactive and allow participants to explore and discuss the connection between books that foster empathy and books that display confidence and advocacy skills in the story. Participants also receive a bibliography of suggested books and lessons.

Please contact Julie via email for more information at Julie *dot* Segal *dot* Walters at Gmail *dot* com.