Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kids Change the World by Inspiring Others to Fight for Change

In honor of Cesar Chavez Day, next Tuesday, March 31st, I want to share why I wrote
 C Is for Change – The Story of Cesar Chavez, OnePerson Can Change Many Lives. The book actually started out as a poem that I was inspired to write for my first grade class in Inglewood, CA. The kids had to perform during a Cesar Chavez Day assembly, so I created a poem for them to memorize and recite in front of their entire student body. Later on, the poem progressed into a colorful acrostic-style picture book that I released last March.

The idea came to me when I was at my school’s book fair and read through an alphabet book called “J is for Jump”. It included fun facts in the margins for each letter of the alphabet and at that moment, I knew that I wanted to turn the poem into a book like that. While writing the book, I made an effort to ensure that children would gain an understanding of civil rights hero, Cesar Chavez and be inspired by his quoted remarks to make changes in their communities. I designed the 3 in 1 reading level picture book so that it can grow with a child, making it ideal for all families. As the child grows, they will gain a new understanding of Chavez that they wouldn’t have understood when they were younger. However the book can solely be read at specific reading levels so children don’t necessarily have to read previous levels to understand the book. 

Through my research, I have found that many children are not exposed to Cesar Chavez in their schools. All American civil rights leaders are important heroes in our country and it’s important for kids to see that these heroes are diverse in race, gender, class and age. Chavez played such a vital role in the United Farm Workers movement that resulted in better working conditions and higher wages for farm workers. We all know that if it weren’t for farmer workers tending to farmland, we would be without food.

The pictures in the book depict Chavez’s life and the United Farm Workers movement and were created in a paper cutout fashion. I looked at a variety of real pictures captured during Chavez’s era and designed images out of recycled and craft store bought paper to reflect these old photos. The clothing that you see worn by people in the book was made out of cut up clothing from both my family’s and my own closet along with clothing that I purchased at the goodwill store.

The legacy of Chavez continues to inspire me each day, so much that I’ve begun writing another book about him. This time around, the book will contain more content and follow a more traditional chapter book. I truly admire individuals that make their dreams a reality and would be open to writing books about other civil rights activists. I’m a strong believer that by teaching kids about American heroes, they will have the opportunity to dream big and fight for positive change in our world.

To purchase C Is for Change click here

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