The Arc of PA’s Include Me program is excited to present “Disability Acceptance through Literature,” a virtual book study for students. Books selected by our facilitators provide opportunities to learn about the many aspects of disability through the perspective of school age protagonists.
Discussions center on understanding, acceptance, presuming competence, and friendship. Values like compassion, honesty, authenticity and diversity steer the ship, and we love when conversations are led by students’ interests. These book studies are an innovative way to provide students interested in reading with a structured opportunity to connect with other students across Pennsylvania! We strive to make the book studies accessible, with audio recordings of each chapter, vocab resources, engaging visual content for discussions, and by providing copies of the book to families as the book studies gear up.
These 4- or 8- week book studies make room for silliness and curiosity, and we’re proud of the stigma-blasting power of the program (and that of the students themselves!).
Include Me connects each book study and accompanying lessons to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards.
Register for Book Studies:
Title: Freak the Mighty, Rodman Philbrick
Group: 12-16 year olds
Dates: Thursdays at 6:30 PM
June 30 – August 18
“I never had a brain until Freak came along and let me borrow his for a while, and that’s the truth, the whole truth. The unvanquished truth, is how Freak would say it, and for a long time it was him who did the talking.” (Max, page 1.)
Join us Thursdays at 6:30pm for our newest middle years pick for Disability Acceptance through Literature! Group (12-16 year olds and our Include Me facilitators) meets weekly via zoom. All learners 12-16 are welcome! Registering will save you a seat. Include your mailing address so we can send you the book/activity box! Before our first meeting, you will receive an email detailing how to log in to the google classroom, and the zoom link we’ll use to join in every week. Audio recordings will be available in the Google Classroom. *Note for parents: this time-tested book is an adventurous one with some darkness/serious events in the plot. You know your kids best, so check out the book and if this isn’t a good fit, feel free to check out Mustaches for Maddie, another middle years pick for Summer 2022!
Title: Mustaches for Maddie, Chad Morris & Shelly Brown
Group: 8-12 year olds
Dates: Tuesdays at 6:30pm
July 5 – August 23
“Fact: mustaches are hilarious. Which is why I collect them. Everything is funnier with a mustache.” (Maddie, page 1.)
“This sweet, hopeful, believable, and unsentimental tale rings true. Being brave, growing up, true friendship—this has it all.” –Booklist
Join us Tuesdays at 6:30PM starting July 5th for our newest early/middle years pick for Disability Acceptance through Literature! The group (8-12 year olds and our Include Me facilitators) will meet weekly via Zoom. All learners 8-12 are welcome! Registering will save you a seat. Include your mailing address so we can send you the book/activity box! Before our first meeting, you will receive an email detailing how to log in to the google classroom, and the zoom link we’ll use to join in every week. Audio recordings will be available in the Google Classroom.
Title: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend
Group: 17+ years old
Dates: Thursdays at 7:45pm
July 14 – August 4
NEW YA group! Join us for a mini-book study this summer to read “Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.” The facilitators think this might be a great pick for aspiring future teachers—it sets the stage for conversations about what makes a good teacher; about presuming competence, dignity of risk, and the beauty of kids’ imaginations. Note: suggested age group is firm. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Jennifer (facilitator) at email@example.com. We will meet weekly from 7:45-8:45 on Thursdays, July 14-August 4. We will reach out to you with information on connecting to the google classroom and logging on through Zoom before the book study begins; we hope to dive straight in to a small section of the book for our first meeting!