Since the spring of 2021, Project Open Books has maintained a close partnership with Ann Arbor Public Schools, having provided LGBTQIA+ affirming books to dozens of elementary school teachers for use in their classrooms. To kick off this year’s Pride Month, Project Open Books collaborated further with one of those teachers at Ann Arbor Open School to facilitate a virtual classroom visit from the author of one of our favorite children’s books!
On June 1st, Ms. Thompson’s fifth-grade class welcomed Rob Sanders, author of Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, for a classroom read-aloud and discussion. After reading his book to the students, they were encouraged to ask any questions about the story, Rob’s writing process, or about his own biography. Ms. Thompson described the conversation as terrific and appreciated Rob’s openness when answering student questions.
The students were especially surprised to learn that Harvey Milk was not the first openly gay person elected to public office. Although he may be one of the most famous, the first openly gay person elected to public office was Kathy Kozachenko, who coincidentally ran for Ann Arbor City Council in 1974. The students were excited to learn that this happened right in their own city!
After the classroom visit, the students created posters to thank Rob Sanders for his visit and Project Open Books for facilitating the read-aloud and providing copies of Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag. Project Open Books can’t think of a better way to have kicked off this year’s Pride Month!