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New Classroom Collection: “Our Community: Haitian Heritage”

Langley Leverett  //  Apr 10, 2024

New Classroom Collection: “Our Community: Haitian Heritage”

This month, Scholastic launched an exciting new classroom collection titled Our Community: Haitian Heritage. Geared toward grades K-3, this set is authored and illustrated by Haitians and Haitian Americans to honor their rich and vibrant culture and is the first to feature titles in both Haitian Creole and English. 

Even though Haitian Creole is one of the most common native languages of multilingual learners, few classroom libraries have high-quality books about Haitian and Haitian American culture. We worked with Jamie Hector, a Haitian American actor and storyteller, to curate a collection of some of the best children’s books on Haitian culture and history to add to classroom libraries. Jamie served as a product mentor and worked with Scholastic to have his books translated into Haitian Creole for the collection.  

Jamie Hector says: We had a blast putting these books together. The text is rich, the illustrations are amazing, and the stories are great. Just reading the books to my children, you learn so much. You learn so much about the richness of Haiti. I’m excited about this collection because of the lives that it will affect in a positive way. It’s the first of this collection that provides books for the Haitian diaspora, and not just for Haiti, but for all cultures to introduce the world to Haiti.”

Michael Haggen, Senior Vice President, Scholastic Education Solutions says: “Stories like these are even more important right now with the cultural and humanitarian crisis currently unfolding in Haiti. It is so critical for kids, who identify as Haitian or Haitian-American to see themselves in a positive, powerful, loving light – and also for their friends and peers to see their culture in this way as well.”

Additionally, Our Community: Haitian Heritage is the first classroom collection to debut from the Scholastic collaboration with NABU, a literacy-focused non-profit that helps provide book access and a critical partner in the New Worlds Reading Initiative. Through this collaboration, Scholastic and NABU met with various writers, artists, and creatives to discuss the publishing industry and help them create their own texts that will reflect and resonate with their lived experiences.  

This work is critical as research shows when students have books and lessons that reflect who they are, they are more engaged, achieve greater learning outcomes, and are more empathetic to their classmates.

Each “Our Community” grade-level set includes 16 books (two copies each of eight titles), a Teacher Resource with a welcome letter from Jamie Hector, activities, and teaching tips. The take-home book packs are available for separate purchase and include three titles from the classroom collection with a family letter with tips for reading together and other activities. Five of the books also have a QR code that links to a read-aloud with Jamie and at least one book in every take-home pack features this special code.

For more exciting educational news, be sure to follow Scholastic on X @ScholasticEdu and on LinkedIn @Scholastic!