In her first conference plenary in Brazil, English Language Fellow Chloe Bellows presented an idea about using a children’s book, It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr, to discuss diversity, tolerance, and inclusion. Chloe, a mother of two, said, “The book talks about how it’s okay to cry, say no to things, have two moms or two dads, have different emotions at the same time, not be good at something.”
She was surprised when, months later, a young elementary teacher, inspired by Chloe’s talk, said she presented a conference poster about creating empathy in her own students. “It was very moving to hear about her successful project,” said Bellows. “I had planted the seed without knowing.” Chloe has expanded her ideas about inclusion since meeting several deaf students attending her workshops and a class of English learners attending the Blind Institute. “I felt there was a void in my teacher preparation and training,” she said. Now, her curiosity piqued, she would love to find out more about creating materials in Braille.