Our Community

ISA Reads

Welcome to ISA Reads! As part of our commitment to sharing resources with our families, member schools, and online community of friends and advocates, we’re launching a page to highlight recommended books for students, curriculum resources for teachers, and timely reports for those interested in learning more about the current state of education. Take a look and let us know what you think! Any new reads on your radar or great finds you’d like to pass along within the ISA community? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you!

Staff Picks

I Like Myself

By Karen Beaumont | Picked by Joy Sevillano
“As a child I always found myself at the Echo Park Branch Public Library. I was an adventure-seeking child wanting to travel to distant places, time-travel, and be blasted off into space. Reading gave me the ability to do all of that. Now, as a mother of a five year old, I read to my daughter, hoping to ignite that same love of reading as I once had once upon a time...

Recently, we read Karen Beaumont's I Like Myself . It is a quick read with awesome illustrations making it easy for my daughter to follow the story and stay engaged as she listens. What I love most about this book is that it brought my daughter to embrace all things about herself, even her crazy hair in the morning or her cute birthmark on her arm. This book empowers kids to not only be comfortable with who they are, but to really own who they are. Such a great book!”

Joy Sevillano
Admissions and IT Coordinator

Cane River

By Lalita Tamedy | Picked by Shannon Nelson
“I stumbled upon Lalita Tademy's Cane River many years ago and could not put it down. She writes about her family's experience living on the Cane River in Louisiana, which has a special place in my heart.

So, I am reading this book again and will read the follow-up after, Red River.”

Shannon Nelson
Senior Director of Development

Rob's Reading Corner

List of 3 items.

  • Half of a Yellow Sun

    By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Trouble With Black Boys

     By Pedro A. Noguera
  • The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team

    By Patrick Lencioni

Thank You Molina Foundation!

We are so pleased to share with the ISA community that we received a generous book grant of 600-plus new books last summer from the Molina Foundation’s Families Learning Together Campaign for Kids. This past fall, ISA’s newest cohort of students and families were offered these books to take home when they came in for their initial meetings with their admissions counselors! We are honored to be part of this amazing campaign to help children and families connect to the world through stories!
    • An Oakland, CA Based Organization

From the People Of Color Conference (POCC) : Reading with Relevance

Reading with Relevance is constructed around culturally relevant, content-rich novels that build students’ literacy skills and support their character development and self-confidence.  Students are motivated to read because they relate to the strong, diverse, and resilient characters featured in our selected novels, and because each lesson gives them the opportunity to connect what they’ve read to their own lives.  

Developed, field-tested, and refined in Oakland, California classrooms, this curriculum has inspired persistently low-performing students to engage with literature, make meaning in their lives, and improve their English language arts skills.

List of 2 items.

  • Elana Metz

    Co-Founder | Oakland, CA

    “We at Reading with Relevance left the NAIS POCC Conference feeling truly inspired!  We had been searching for a community of progressive educators who care about the values that are so important to us (and to our students!): integratingacademic instruction with social and emotional development, facilitating reading experiences that are culturally relevant and help students explore their identities, and teaching thoughtful curricula that help young people make meaning of real-world topics that impact their lives. We were so blown away by the social justice mindsets and commitments we encountered, and felt a call to action around supporting the work you are doing in independent schools!  We are excited to share our tools and resources with the NAIS community!”
  • Noah Lystrup

    After-School Tutor | Oakland, CA

    “I’ve seen this program blend two needs together really well. Through our books, we’re talking about race, we’re talking about class, we’re talking about gender, we’re talking about how these things play out in our everyday lives, and how we can be empowered by them. And we’re also meeting their academic needs – they know how to read a little bit better and they have an increased vocabulary. With this curriculum, we’re really able to blend the two together.”