The Pacific Northwest is rich with historical traditions educators are not only eager to share with their students, but also required to teach in order to meet state standards.
As a school librarian serving both elementary and middle school students, I learned firsthand of the need for more materials for younger students on topics covering regional Pacific Northwest history.
At a recent meeting of our regional chapter of the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), a panel of librarians spoke about the challenges they face in serving the needs of their young patrons in this area.
Further conversations with those librarians and other authors began a collaboration, and Gather Here: History for Young People was born as an imprint of Homeostasis Press. I’m beyond thrilled that Mark Holtzen and Julie Artz have joined in this endeavor, along with some guest authors. Mark’s post about the new site is here.
Our plan is to provide collections of curricular material for use by elementary educators, and to be a useful resource for educatiors and students. We are all working on longer works as well. In deciding how best to serve this need, we’ve surveyed educators and librarians and spoken with museum personnel, historians, and the Washington State Office of Native Education.
We have been invited to complete the State’s curriculum and other training associated with the recent Senate bill requiring that tribal history be taught in Washington state public schools, and we hope that in future, we can offer our skill as writers in assisting with this important initiative.
We’re currently at work completing sample curriculum collections for use in 3rd to 5th grade classrooms that educators can access for free while we develop our other offerings. The database of topics identified by teachers, librarians and our own research as needing more attention is growing.
In the meantime, you can visit the site (under construction!) to find out more about the project, and to check out our resources. The first post on Gatherings, our blog, will be up soon. Message us with questions or comments, or join our mailing list through the contact form on the site while we set up a mailing list platform.
Future plans include a series of pieces on a variety of topics, as well as full length works, which will be available through Homeostasis Press. We’re working on a structure through which we can invite both requests from educators for topics needed, and submissions by more middle grade authors as contributors.
Sample topics currently being developed include child labor in the early 1900s, Mount Saint Helens, and the history of baseball in the Seattle area, for a start. There’s much more to come.
We’d love it if you’d visit Gather Here: History for Young People and let us know what you think!