Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

During the first six weeks of every school year, we specifically discuss important character traits that help us become positive and productive classmates and citizens — kindness, respect, self-discipline, perseverance, honesty, responsibility and good judgment.

We re-visit these characteristics in our daily interactions with one another, by learning about others, and through literature and supporting activities. Doing so allows us to increase awareness about our own identities and diversity in our world. In turn, we are able to move forward in both identifying justice and injustice, and need for action.

This week we will be learning about Sonia Sotomayor. We’ll read and discuss Sonia Sotomayor – A Judge Grows in the Bronx (Jonah Winter/Edel Rodriguez). This award-winning biography, which features both English and Spanish, begins with Justice Sotomayor’s childhood and the sacrifices, struggles and successes of her life.

Knowing she wanted to be a real-life judge when she grew up, she knew she’d need to study hard and manage her diabetes. After learning about her, my Kinder kids will write her letters asking for her advice on how to become their future selves.

As Jonah Winter writes, “You never know what can happen. Sometimes the most beautiful moonflower blossoms in an unexpected place — on a chain-link fence, near broken glass, next to an abandoned building watered by someone whose name you might not even know.”

“And sometimes the most amazing person blossoms in just such a place as well.”