The NEA Read Across America Calendar’s message to teachers says, “Our students need to see themselves in the books they read.” While the priority should be that students know how to read, literacy is not what this calendar is about. A calendar suggestion for September is that students write and illustrate stories from “their own culture,” completely missing the point that American students’ culture is American and it is advantageous for them to assimilate. December’s book is A Boy and A Jaguar, about efforts to protect big cats around the world and condemning evil humans who kill animals.
In June, the NEA Calendar celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender pride month. The featured book is Not Every Princess, published by the American Psychological Association, which includes “strategies to help children imagine, play, and envision themselves beyond the limited roles and expectations that gender stereotypes create.” The United Nations International Youth Day is on the NEA calendar, but Christmas is nowhere to be found.
Listen to the radio commentary here: