Creating Community in the Classroom
Mona Hajjar Hallaby's book is about helping the disenfranchised student in elementary school to find a place in the classroom community. It is a collection of first-hand stories from an Oakland, California classroom written as fiction for teachers interested in relating these experiences to their own classrooms.
Even though it is primarily written for parents and educators, it is also a book about communication and the power of belonging. The crisis faced by education in the United States, and to some degree in the world, is addressed on a social level which extends beyond reliance on standardized tests alone. It describes a human problem that has to do with marginalized students who by the time they reach high school, are often angry and bitter.
Belonging: Creating Community in the Classroom is metaphorically about crime prevention, about helping children develop empathy, and creating a community in the classroom where everyone is a valued member.