The Power of Kids’ Voices for Change
Here in Minneapolis, we have witnessed both the heartbreaking murder of George Floyd at the hands of police and the inspiring movement for systemic anti-racist change. In this issue of Upbeat News, we highlight resources to help you create a safe space for your students to discuss prejudice and discrimination and to brainstorm ways they can make a difference in their world.

This month’s book excerpts include:
  • a guided group session that helps teens consider the importance of respect, affirmation, and compassion in human relations and how to develop these qualities in themselves and others
  • a lesson to help students understand prejudice and discrimination and learn skills for challenging them
  • service learning ideas and examples carried out by elementary, middle, and high school students in schools and with community organizations.

Below you’ll find our downloads for the month to support students in developing skills to challenge discrimination they witness. And we are pleased to introduce you to our new picture book series Together in Our World, which addresses issues children might hear about in the news and may not understand. In a straightforward and kid-friendly way, the books explain tough topics and offer readers ideas for what they can do to help make the world a better, fairer place.
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*Excludes already discounted sets, clearance items, and eBooks.
Series Spotlight: Together in Our World
The Together in Our World series addresses issues children might hear about in the news and may not understand. In a straightforward and kid-friendly way, these picture books explain tough topics and offer readers ideas for what they can do to help make the world a better, fairer place. Each book has a glossary and additional resources.

Watch our blog next week for a giveaway of the series!
Tips & Tools from the Free Spirit Blog
Building honest, stable, caring, and trusting relationships with kids in the school environment is a prime antidote to the effects of trauma on the brain. Blogger Molly Breen shares how to use your physical space as a teaching partner to create a trauma-sensitive environment. Read now.
School counselor Amanda C. Symmes shares how to ensure trauma-informed teaching is a reality in your daily practice with four Cs: care (about the invisible backpack), create (a safe space), be consistent (in naming what is happening), and connect.   Read now.
Educational grants available for your school or community:

James Patterson’s $2 Million Giveaway to Support Classroom Libraries sweepstakes from Scholastic Book Clubs, Inc. provides Patterson Partnership Grants to build a classroom library.
Eligibility: Public, Private, Charter
Prize: $500
Application Deadline: July 31, 2020
Action for Healthy Kids awards Game On: Social Emotional Health Grants to support schools in implementing school-based programs and practices that explore the mind-body connection between physical and emotional health and help develop resiliency in students. The program is designed to support communities serving military families. Schools will implement strategies and best practices that support social and emotional well-being, bring families and schools together to build the capacity of both groups, and implement changes that improve the school community culture with health-promoting policies and practices. In addition to a monetary award, schools will receive technical assistance and individualized support from an Action for Healthy Kids State Coordinator and access to tools, resources, and professional development.
Eligibility: Public, Private, Charter, Other (including homeschool, 501(c)(3) organizations) serving military families
Prize: $2,500–$5,000
Application Deadline: August 31, 2020
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“Deborah Serani’s clear-cut, holistic picture book  Sometimes When I’m Sad  introduces childhood depression and coping strategies with helpful tips for caregivers.”— Foreword Reviews

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Free Downloads

From Create a Culture of Kindness in Middle School by Naomi Drew, M.A., with Christa M. Tinari, M.A., this month’s free downloads help students challenge prejudice and discrimination. Challenging Prejudice and Discrimination: What Would You Do? offers definitions of prejudice and discrimination and asks students to reflect on situations they’ve seen or experienced. Words That Challenge Prejudice and Discrimination provides space for students to brainstorm ways to respond when they witness someone being discriminated against. 
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Upcoming Events 

July 21: Free webinar presented by James Butler, M.Ed.: “ How Mindfulness Fits into Education in the Pandemic Era

August 20: Free webinar presented by Shannon Anderson, M.Ed.: “ Ready, Set, Grow! How to Teach Growth Mindset in Grades K–8
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“Feelings can’t be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem.”
—Anne Frank