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Teaching for Social Justice: Hard Truths Initiative – A Picture-Book Reading List

The Hard Truths initiative puts a spotlight on social issues by facilitating opportunities for TCNJ’s teacher candidates to use children’s book to raise awareness of inequities. Created and curated by Anne Peel, TCNJ Associate Professor of Literacy; Hard Truths is a collection of picture books that tell the truth about some difficult aspect of children’s lives here in America: the history of enslavement and trauma so many have inherited; the pain of leaving behind everything they knew as recent immigrants who might be met with hostility rather than welcome; the rejection of their family and community practices when they come to schools where they might feel like an outsider to a dominant culture, and so many other difficult courses children must navigate. Learn about Hard Truths:

Anne taught high school English for 14 years in public schools in Philadelphia and New Jersey and continues to maintain collaborations with multiple districts across New Jersey, providing professional development support in literacy instruction. Her scholarship has been published in English Journal, Journal of Language and Literacy Education, and Literacy among others, and she has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences. She was awarded the Edward Fry Graduate Fellowship in Literacy from Rutgers University. Learn about Anne:


SOE Preservice Teachers working with high school students

On 11/30/21 preservice teachers in our Urban Education program hosted 10th, 11th, and 12th students from STEMCivics high school in Trenton, NJ. This visit was a follow up to presentations the preservice teachers gave earlier in the semester at the high school. The on-campus visit included presentations about Admissions and Financial Aid and campus tours led by the pre service teachers.




Partners from Trenton Public Schools stopped by to chat with preservice candidates in the Urban Education program about pathways into teaching. The visitors James DiDonato, Executive Director of Human Resources; Sandra Iturbides, Supervisor of ESL/Bilingual Programs, Secondary, and Joyce M. Caine, Supervisor of Coaching and Development, shared their own strategies for building relationships with urban schools and communities: mentoring, tutoring, community service, and substitute teaching and offered recommendations for prospective teachers. 10.21.22