12 SOCIAL JUSTICE AT STORYTIME that help them better understand how a fair and just, or as we hear today, equitable, world works. Children might even grow different viewpoints on gender, race, or social equity through communicating. These topics can be translated as social justice, and when they are embedded in children dur- ing the time of learning these four skills, it creates more social awareness, which can result in positive interactions with others no matter their differences. Social justice topics also contribute to developmental literacy skills, also known as social literacy skills. This is when children gain knowledge and the values that foster the ability to express good citizenship in society. They learn to focus on how to discern facts as well as adapt to change and pos- sibly to better process social problems as they come along. It is important for children to be able to process what goes on in their own surroundings and lives while being respectful to others. Social literacy skills support this behavior and allow for them to adapt to change in a positive or less stress- ful way. Finally, as children grow in critical thinking, communication, and col- laboration, they further develop self-control, leadership, and self-awareness along with empathy and the ability to take the perspective of situations— also known as social consciousness—which are important life skills. All of these skills can be learned through intentional actions and activities such as social justice being embedded in storytime. Social justice is a part of well-rounded development and forces one to take responsibility to work with others in order to foster ways to ultimately construct healthy organizations or institutions. With this in mind, it must be remembered that social justice is not limited to social or political move- ments it is broad, and because of this, it encompasses topics such as race, gender, environment, economic experiences, diverseabilities, and much more. Talking about how social justice in storytime helps foster positive personal and social development leads to the understanding that implicit biases can exist through negative representation however, these biases can be dispelled through positive diverse representation in storytime. DISPEL IMPLICIT BIASES In thinking about the importance of social justice storytime, the idea is that it should be a way to be inclusive of all that are within the community. However, this concept would mean that there is already a positively con- structed social development among attendees. While this may be true for some, there are many who have only developed personally within their own community but not socially by experiencing unfamiliar communities.
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