Tag Archives: academia

Introducing Fitz Between the Shelves

Happy Weekend! We have another Sound Off Sunday post this week, because of another conference!  Both of us had an incredibly busy but educational time with conferences on back to back weekends.  We love to continue to grow and learn, which is why we absolutely loved talking with Sarah FitzHenry, who is the brains behind Fitz Between the Shelves.  Sarah gave us an amazing list of books to check out which will you have running to your local library too!  We hope you have as good of a time learning more about Sarah as we did!

The Tiny Activist: Introduce yourself! 

Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 2.52.03 PMSarah FitzHenry: Hi! My name is Sarah FitzHenry, but my students call me Ms. Fitz. I’m a school librarian working with grades K-8 at an independent school in Charlottesville, Virginia. I’m the voice behind Fitz Between the Shelves, my happy little corner of the internet where I talk about the power of school libraries, diverse stories, dynamic teaching and learning, and the amazing impacts these things can have on childrens’ lives. I’m also a tech geek, aerial yoga instructor, lifelong learner, lover of animals, puns, and board games, and a very dedicated and messy mistake-maker.

TTA: What are you passionate about?

SF: How much time do you have? I’m passionate about the way the right book at the right time can change a reader’s life. I’m passionate about the fact that libraries and librarians are critical tools for helping to create the next generation of leaders that will shape our world. I’m passionate about doing whatever it takes to make libraries safe, exciting, and nurturing spaces for every single child. I’m passionate about diversity and

books-are-grant-snider
“Books Are” by Grant Snider

representation in children’s’ literature, because every child deserves stories that act as windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors. I’m passionate about empowering kids to show up, stand up, and speak up – to make sure they know that they’re never too young or too small to use their power and drive to make change. There’s more, but you probably have other things to do today, so I’ll wrap it up.

TTA: Tell us about a project you’re currently working on!

SF: Books are such powerful tools to help kids think curiously and critically about the world around them, especially when they’re shared and discussed with a trusted adult. I’ve been working on a Family Book Club series designed to bring families together to talk about complex or sensitive topics that might normally be avoided around the dinner table, but that kids need guidance to understand. This fall we read Out of My Mind, by Sharon Out_of_My_Mind_novel_by_Sharon_Draper_book_coverDraper. At our Family Book Club meeting, we heard from Kara McClurken of Bennett’s Village, and she really lit a spark in my students about making Charlottesville a more inclusive place where all kids can play together. They are now determined to help build a playground that’s accessible and fun for everyone. They’re working on fundraisers, design projects, marketing strategies, and more. At our last lunch meeting, I watched them pitch a school-wide fundraiser to administration by explaining why the mission of Bennett’s Village is important. It has been really incredible to see how Bennett’s story has inspired them! I am continuously moved by my students’ big hearts and limitless empathy.

Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 3.06.22 PM

TTA: How can people support you on your journey?

SF: I’d love for you to join the conversation on Fitz Between the Shelves, or to introduce yourself on Instagram or Facebook. The more people I connect with, the more I learn! Offline, we can all join in by reading books by and about people that are different than us in every conceivable way. Families, read ‘em together and talk about the big stuff (your kids can handle it, and it will make them better people). Ask questions, and actually listen to the answers. Use the libraries in your community. And never be afraid to change your mind and your behavior as you learn!

TTA: What book was your favorite in 2018?

SF: You know you’re asking this question to a librarian, right?! I read almost 300 books per year (not including picture books)! I’ll have to break it down into categories for you.

 

Books that I share with my readers over and over again, that they always love:

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusty Bowling

The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 10.56.48 AMLong Way Down by Jason Reynolds

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Books that have moved me the most in the past year, not including the titles above:

THE-POET-X-e1542251351500The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

Forever or a Long Long Time by Caela Carter

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle

Here to Stay by Sara Farizan

Pretty much anything by Gary D. Schmidt or John Corey Whaley

TTA: What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

SF: There’s a quote by Maya Angelou that is always in the back of my mind:

Do the best you can,

until you know better.

Then when you know better,

do better.

This coming year, I look forward to knowing better, so that I can do better, in a million new ways.

Stay Connected with

Fitz Between the Shelves!

Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 3.41.55 PMFitz Between the Shelves

Fitz Between the Shelves on Instagram

Fitz Between the Shelves on Facebook

Sound Off Saturday Featuring: Dr. Meza!

TTA: Introduce yourself!

Dr. M: Dr. Rocio Rosales Meza, I am a Xicana Feminist Psychology Professor and Mother. I am a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants, a native Spanish speaker, and a first generation college student.

TTA: What are you passionate about?

Dr. M: I am passionate about liberation and social justice and gentle, feminist parenting. My mission is to create a liberated, conscious, peaceful community in the now and for future generations.

TTA: Tell us about a project you’re currently working on!

Dr. M: I am currently working on setting up a Patreon community to share resources related to the intersections of liberation, parenting, psychology, education, and social justice. I’ve received so many requests for resources and from folx wanting to hear more and learn more from me, so I’m finally in the process of getting this together for our IG community. I’m excited about all the possibility to connect and create!

TTA: How can people support you on your journey?

Dr. M: Folx can support me and my work by engaging with me on Instragram, joining my email list to learn about the things I’m working on and resources I’m sharing, and eventually joining my Patreon community to make my work sustainable. I am honored to be of service.

TTA: What book was your favorite in 2018?

detail_746_Revolutionary_mothering_medium
Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines

Dr. M: My favorite book in 2018 was Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines. It speaks so much to my experience as a Mother of color and how motherhood has liberated me. It inspires me to continue to be revolutionary in my mothering, resisting compartmentalizing, hiding my motherhood and child, my life. It encourages me to continue to show up as my full self to resist the patriarchy as both a woman of color and mother of color. A must read for all.

TTA: What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

Dr. M: I’m looking forward to building a community of folx that want to raise conscious, liberated children and selves. I am looking forward to encouraging more mothers, mothers of color, women of color to show up as their full selves…to step into their power, to know they deserve to be well, at peace, free, and to not just survive but thrive. I believe our children, the world will benefit when womxn, mothers, especially womxn of color and mothers of color are liberated. Social justice and equity is important, but even more than that is our liberation…freedom to unlock our every potential, our every strength, our every dream…IMAGINE alll the possibilities! We already accomplish so much in the face of the patriarchy, imagine how much more we can accomplish in liberation, in peace, in wellness, together…thinking of that is just awe inspiring!

Let’s create a new world together, for us, and for our children

because they, we, are so worthy.

Stay Connected

with Dr. Meza!

Dr. Meza’s Website

Dr. Meza on Instagram

Dr. Meza on LinkedIn