National Social Work Month
National Social Work Month is celebrated every March. Some children and young adults may have encountered social workers, but many may not understand what social workers actually do. Try some of the following activities to help them understand the focus of social services and why social workers are needed in our communities.
- Tell readers that Frances Perkins was the pioneer of social work. Ask them to find out about Perkins and why the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 caused her to become dedicated to social work.
- Suggest that readers write a tribute to her for the school or library website.
- Have readers read about the Orphan Trains and discuss why The Children’s Aid Society is classed a social service organization. How was this movement the beginning of the foster care system in the United States
- Suggest that readers find out the many duties of social workers. Then have children ages 9-up to write a job description for a social worker in their city or county.
- Ask a social worker to speak to readers and tell them the specifics of their job. Why do school districts and hospital employ social workers? Have readers prepare questions to ask the guest speaker.
- “Forging Solutions Out of Challenges” is the theme for 2016 National Social Work Month. Display books about children and families may benefit from the help of a social worker. For example, how could a social worker have helped Zachary in When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt. Then have them share the book they select. Suggestions from Random House include:
Dealing with the Poor
A Chance to Shine (picture book) by Steve Seskin
Something Beautiful (picture book) by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
The Mighty Miss Malone (middle grade) by Christopher Paul Curtis
Bucking the Sarge (young adult) by Christopher Paul Curtis
Carolina Harmony (middle grade) by Marilyn Taylor McDowell
But, Not Buddy (middle grade) by Christopher Paul curtis
Grover G. Graham and Me (middle grade) by Mary Quattlebaum
Pictures of Hollis Woods (middle grade) by Patricia Reilly Giff
Ball Don’t Lie (young adult) by Matt De La Peêa
Shifty (young adult) by Lynn e. Hazen
The Story of Tracy Beaker (young adult) by Jacquline Wilson
Ten Days and Nine Nights (picture book) by Yumi Heo
All the Way Home (middle grade) by Patricia Reilly Giff
Finding Miracles (young adult) by JJulia Alvarez
Invisible Threads (young adult) by Annie Dalton and Maria Dalton
Holes (middle grade) by Louis Sachar
Liar and Spy (middle grade) by Rebecca Stead
Nest (middle grade) by Esther Ehrlich
A Piece of Heaven (middle grade) by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
Black Box (young adult) by Julie Schumacher
Grief Girl (young adult) by Erin Vincent
Life is Fine (young adult) by Allison Whittenbert
Prizefighter en Mi Casa (young adult by e. E. Charlton-Trujillo
Aide to Immigrants
Return to Sender (middle grade) by Julia Alvarez
Enrique’s Journey (young adult) by Sonia Nazario
Red Glass (young adult) by Laura Resau