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Stitching together the social fabric for young mothers in Appalachia

Carrol Layfield manages a quilting group of older women from Ritchie County, West Virginia, who used to work in the area’s garment industry. Using techniques handed down over generations, the women piece together quilts from remnants of fabric from shuttered factories. Kayla Turk is a young mother of two children who returned home to Ritchie County to live with her parents when her husband was laid off. At a communal baby shower, Kayla receives a quilt from the older women, and discovers a network of support.
by
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Grade Level
3-5
Topic
Subject
History
Economics
Social Justice Domain
text
Multimedia

Every little girl should be able to wear a tutu

“Ava is an ambitious teenager who owes much of her inner strength to a dance studio in South L.A. Founder Lula Washington and her daughter Tamica are professional dancers — and they are role models as well as teachers. At their dance school, African American children learn to respect themselves, their bodies, and their cultural traditions. The young dancers also defy stereotypes by mastering ballet. The dance program cultivates self-discipline and mutual support that enables girls like Ava to flourish even when their families are facing hard times.”
by
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Grade Level
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
text
Multimedia

Fun and Fitness in a Library Parking Lot

Line dance leader Kit Cheung teaches her class of Chinese-American women in an unlikely place: the parking lot of a local library. No other public location offers both the outdoor space and sun cover the group requires for their twist on the traditional Chinese exercise of tai chi. The relationship that forms between the initially reluctant library and Kit’s dance group has created some unexpected opportunities.
by
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Grade Level
3-5
Subject
Social Studies
Social Justice Domain
text
Informational

A Girl and a Word

Laura Linn's article explores how Rosa Marcellino, a nine-year old with Down syndrome, and her family worked to eliminate the phrase "mentally retarded" from official use. "Rosa's Law" is living, legislative proof that their hard work paid off.
by
Laura Linn
Grade Level
3-5
Subject
Civics
History
Social Justice Domain