Literacy Series -- Multicultural Literacy

by neokainpak, Flickr.comby neokainpak, Flickr.com

"Multicultural literacy" means an understanding of the similarities and differences between cultures, along with the understanding that one's values, customs and beliefs are influenced by one's own culture. The U. S. has been a multicultural nation since its birth. With cultural and ethnic diversity projected to rise over the next 50 years, and technology and business increasingly connecting the U. S. to other countries, now is the time for young people to become culturally literate!

Fortunately, reading can be a great way to explore the world through the eyes of people who are very different from you. Here are some suggestions for multicultural reading:

1. Read books in other languages (if you can!) -- check out our World Language collection. Of course, if you don't already speak another language, you can learn one!

2. Read books about other countries.

3. Read folktales from other cultures -- you can learn a lot about another culture from their folklore. And folktales are fun to read!

4. Read about America's immigrants -- Try the World Book of America's Multicultural Heritage to learn the long history and contributions of immigrants in America.

Multicultural books for young readers:
Check out "Books With a View", a list of books for children and young adults featuring characters from around the world.
Across Cultures: A Guide to Multicultural Literature for Children
Breaking Boundaries With Global Literature
Crossing Boundaries With Children's Books
The New Press Guide to Multicultural Resources for Young Readers
The World Through Children's Books

Multicultural Resources for Parents:
Multicultural Manners
A Parents' and Teachers' Guide to Bilingualism
Raising the Rainbow Generation