Capstone Project (Open Access)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Within our community, there are children in the foster care system who suffer for various reasons. As these children journey through life, they do not always come across caring adults, worthy peer relationships, or are given a voice to talk about their experience when wanted. Yet, as adults, and as educators, we are responsible for providing children with a “kind and just parent” (Ayers) whether in the classroom, at home, or in foster care placements. This capstone documents how Jacqueline Woodson’s young adult novel, After Tupac and D Foster, and William Ayer’s, A Kind and Just Parent, were woven together into a curriculum for adults that work with at risk youth. The curriculum guides teachers to recognize what children in the foster care system might experience and how we educators can support them. The curriculum was designed with the goal of helping all of society’s children, but especially the most vulnerable, to understand their own lives through the characters in the novel, and, in turn, use the novel as a tool to enable peers to relate more deeply to foster youth. By using young adult literature to bring to light what foster care youth experience, educators can “normalize” the idea of the foster care system, hopefully presenting it in a new, more positive, light. The curriculum, is designed to help children and teachers within our community feel more comfortable talking about foster care by giving children the chance to talk about their experience, while building healthy peer relationships, thus, building a kind and just world along the way.
Pezel, Heather, "Creating a Kind and Just World: The Power of Literature to Create Hope for Foster Youth" (2018). Capstone Projects and Master's Theses. 277.