SMSD News: Read Across SMSD October: Create Change

This October, as we Read Across SMSD, we recognize everyone’s power to “Create Change.” This month’s theme focuses on books that help students recognize their power to change the world.

 Meet Olivia Bloomfield- Student, Inclusive Playground Advocate

 Olivia Bloomfield, a fourth-grader at Corinth Elementary, knows a lot about creating change.

She is a strong advocate for inclusive playgrounds. She has played a role in the construction of the inclusive playground at her school. She also advocated for the inclusive playgrounds now being built across the Shawnee Mission School District as a result of the most recent bond referendum.

 Olivia recently joined David Stubblefield, associate superintendent of leadership and learning, for a conversation about how students like Olivia can create the changes they want to see in the world.   

Click here to see a video.      

Olivia said she uses her voice to make sure everyone knows playgrounds should not only be wheelchair and walker accessible, but also accessible for people with cognitive, sensory, hearing and vision impairments.

 “Everyone deserves a chance to play,” Olivia expressed.

 She said that students who want to make a change should “go for it.”

 “Everyone can make the world a better place,” Olivia added. “They just need to speak up.”

 Reflecting on their conversation, Stubblefield shared “You have given us such a perfect example of how inclusion is not bringing people into what already exists; it is making a new space, a better space for everyone.”

 Reading and Learning Resources

Read Across SMSD is modeled after the national NEA Read Across America program and led in partnership with NEA Shawnee Mission.

 Here are Read Across America’s October titles, focused on creating change:

  • Elementary: “Change Sings” by: Amanda Gorman. Pictures by: Loren Long

Learn more by clicking here.

  •  Middle: “The Magic in Changing Your Stars” by: Leah Henderson

Learn more by clicking here.

  • Young Adult: “Love Is a Revolution” by Renee Watson

Learn more by clicking here.

The links above provide activity ideas, discussion and reflective writing questions, related resources, and more titles to try for each age group.

Shawnee Mission School District librarians have also provided a list of similar book titles related to the theme. They can be found on this webpage. 

What is Read Across SMSD?

 Read Across SMSD is a celebration of reading across our community. We encourage reading for all ages across the SMSD in support of our district academic goals and our strategic plan belief that our community’s strength is derived from its diversity. Click here to find out more and participate in Read Across SMSD