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Camp Hanover's Reilly McNamara led a workshop at the recent 2023 Virginia Camp and Retreat Leaders Gathering. This annual event gives camp leaders across the state an opportunity to connect and learn together. The theme this year was “Won't You Be My Neighbor” and focused on the teachings of Mr. Rogers: being a good neighbor and growing community.

In this workshop, participants explored diverse children's media and its implications on building community and compassion. They also analyzed lesson plans using diversity-rich children's books to put this into practice. At the end, each participant created their own lesson.

As Camp Hanover's CHASE program coordinator, Reilly regularly uses books and lesson plans to reinforce nature, Bible, or social-emotional learning with the elementary kids enrolled in the after-school program.

The books are great for reading at home with your children. Here are titles Reilly recommends:

We Are Water Protectors
by Carole Lindstrom

Pele, King of Soccer
by Monica Brown

Old Turtle
by Douglas Wood

Isabel and Her Colores Go to School
by Alexandra Alessandri

I Remember Abuelito
by Janice Levy

by Matt de la Peña

Charlies Makes a Splash!
by Holly Robinson Peete and Shane W. Evans

Where Wonder Grows
by Xelena González

Apple and Magnolia
by Laura Gehl

My Friend Earth
by Patricia MacLachlan

Sidney, the Lonely Cloud
by Tim Hopgood