What is Story Starters?
We all want our kids to grow up with
big hearts, open minds, & helping hands.
Parents ask Story Starters...
“How can we explain race and racism when we feel we are
still learning about it ourselves?”
“How do I know if what I’m saying to my kids will have an impact?”
Story Starters helps families answer these tough questions.
We know racial bias starts early, and avoiding conversations about race is harmful to our kids. So in collaboration with educators and researchers, we’ve developed an at-home program for families with kids ages 3 to 8. Our program supports parents who want to start and strengthen conversations about race with their children, using picture books as tools. Throughout the 8-week program, Story Starters families learn from educators, racial justice advocates, and each other.
Learn more about our curriculum in the video below.
Winter 2024 Program Details
Who: Families with kids ages 3 to 8 years old. Siblings welcome!
Location: In-person and Online!
Program Dates: January 28- March 24, 2024
Fee: $125 - Scholarships available upon request
Program participants receive:
A bundle of 6 books
5 parent guides full of research, resources, and family activities to help parents start and deepen family race conversations
4 curated book lists to support further exploration and conversation
2 family events and 2 parent workshops*
2 Story Starters virtual office hours to connect informally
A small, curated support network of current families and alumni to lean on and learn from
Special events to facilitate community connections
*Family events will be in-person. Parent workshops for all programs will remain on Zoom.
Program Dates (all times listed are EST):
Sunday, January 28, 3:00-4:30pm: Program Launch @ Jammin' With You
Tuesday, February 6, 7:30-9:00pm: Parent Workshop (online)
Monday, February 26, Noon-1:00pm & 8:00-9:00pm: Office Hours
Saturday, March 2, 3:00-4:30pm Storytelling Event @ Newton Free Library
Wednesday, March 6, 7:30-9:00pm: Parent Workshop (online)
Tuesday, March 19, Noon-1:00pm & 8:00-9:00pm: Office Hours
Sunday, March 24, 3:00-4:30pm: Closing Family Event @ Newton City Hall
Upcoming Speakers Include:
Born and raised in East Orange, New Jersey, Kaija Langley has been writing since she fell in love with words at age seven. She knew she was onto something when she wrote her first poem and her grade school classmates thought she’d copied it from a book! A proud alumna of Morgan State University, a historically black college and university in Baltimore, Maryland, she received her MFA in fiction from St. Mary’s College of California in 2005. She’s called many places home over the years—New Jersey, Maryland, DC, California, Louisiana—and currently lives, writes, and plays in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her two bonsai and her beloved. Her picture book When Langston Dances and middle-grade novel The Order of Things, have each owon several literary awards.
Len Cabral is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning storyteller and author who has been engaging and entertaining audiences with his storytelling performances for more than four decades. He is the recipient of the National Storytelling Network 2001 Circle of Excellence Oracle Award, Honored by Johnson & Wales University as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in 2000 and the recipient of the 2016 Pell Award, and most recently recipient of the 2023 NABS Brother Blue Circle of Elders Award. This award, named in honor of Dr. Hugh “Brother Blue” Morgan, is given to NABS members as a recognition of their contributions to Black storytelling.
Len is one of the founding members of Providence Inner City Arts/Roots Cultural Center. A founding member of the Rhode Island Black Storytellers (RIBS). He is on the board of Rhode Island Center for the Book/ Read Across Rhode Island.
Kaitlyn Derosiers is a children's book author and co-owner of publishing company, McBryde Books, LLC. Kaitlyn is the author of "I'm A Big Sister!" and "I'm A Big Brother!" These books were inspired by Kaitlyn's first born, who was soon to become a big sister for the first time. Kaitlyn is also the author of the children's coloring book, '"H" is for Haiti: An English and Haitian Creole Alphabet Coloring Book."' Being married to a Haitian American, Kaitlyn was eager to share this rich culture with her daughter. Creating this coloring book allowed Kaitlyn to being exposing her daughter to the language of her father's family. "Wonderfully Made" co-authored by Kaitlyn and her sister, Megan, is a story about two sisters who come from an interracial family. With parents whose skin color doesn't quite look like theirs, these two girls navigate social situations and learn to feel confident in who they are and the family that they love.
Kaitlyn is also a school psychologist. Her passion is helping children and families. In her free time, Kaitlyn enjoys spending time with her family and friends, visiting new places, trying new foods, and relaxing outside.