Lewes teacher Kathy Pepper has written and published a book titled “Ripples of Hope: Thoughts on Raising Children to be Hopeful in Our Changing World and Questions to Ask Ourselves.”
Initially intended to be a parents’ guide to home learning, the book changed as the nation has faced a novel pandemic that ravaged vulnerable populations, closed businesses and schools, and taxed medical professionals’ hearts and energy. At the same time, in response to murders of Black people at the hands of police officers, protestors increased calls for the end of systemic racism.
While sheltering in place with her family, Pepper said she decided to use her experience as a teacher and mother to write a guide to help parents effectively support their children's remote learning. She wanted to assure families that learning is broader than classroom walls, and lessons can be taught through stories, books, experiences, and especially accurate history. Education includes making sense of life as it happens, she said, and everyone is learning together.
Considering these events happening as she was writing, Pepper said she felt she needed to take positive action to address the country’s continued history of oppression and social injustice. Magnified by the effects of COVID-19, she said, this period of unrest created a precipice for change.
“It has created an opportunity to not only investigate and embrace our own biases and our role in racism, but to use what we learn to help raise our children to be hopeful. As the events in our country called for action and change, I knew my words had to echo this movement to help parents not just teach their children well, but also ask themselves questions that helped them examine their own hearts, values, thoughts and beliefs as they raise children who are not only hopeful and resilient, but ready for action that leads to positive change,” said Pepper.
As a mother, wife and teacher, Pepper has experienced many opportunities to teach fundamental values through books and activities. Her lessons include the study of different countries and cultures, and the history of the United States.
“I believe children need a comprehensive education that integrates accurate history, values and opportunities for action,” said Pepper. “I believe that it is important to teach children to think for themselves, to learn to make decisions about what they believe, and to think about how their actions and choices determine who they are and who they will become.
“I believe the changes we want to see in our country begin as we raise and teach hopeful, resilient, thoughtful, open-minded children. As I begin my 37th year of teaching, I remain hopeful that together we can create a more inclusive community for all,” said Pepper.
“Ripples of Hope” is available in paperback for $16.
For more information or to purchase, go to store.bookbaby.com/book/ripples-of-hope.