Belonging is important for building a beautiful community that God intends us to live in. Even during social distancing and school closedowns, children need to be taught about how to belong. We also live in a time when kindness and help in belonging are needed.
This book weaves these important teaching points into the narration of a little Spot who proceeds to explain what belonging is and why it is important. “When you belong, you feel valued, safe, calm, and accepted.” Even children know how it feels when one does not belong. The key is to start with self-love and self-affirmation. Then you need to pass that same kindness to others around you.
Spot also creates body language examples and real-life scenarios for children to practice helping others belong. There are a few fun activities to try with other children. Through playful activities and conversations about common interests, children can belong together.
Lastly, Spot points to the inclusive nature of belonging in a community. Sometimes it takes courage to belong. For example, when you see a friend making a bad choice, not joining in or even standing up for what is right also shows what you value.
This book can spark layers of conversation among children and their parents about how to build a community where everyone belongs. In light of all the division in our society, this book is just what all teachers and parents need in their classrooms and homes. (Diane Alber Art LLC).
About the Author
Mary Li Ma is a member of Plymouth Heights CRC church in Grand Rapids, Mich. She holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and now works as a research analyst for a national research center on education equity.