At the 2015 Texas Bluebonnet Award Luncheon this past April, Carmen Oliver, the booking agent for the Grandfather Gandhi creators, sat with Arun Gandhi, Evan Turk, and several librarians from around Texas. One particular conversation grabbed her attention. She overheard Gail Shipley, the librarian at Thelma Richardson Elementary, speaking about the unit on civil rights she’d organized with her students to honor MLK day.
Instead of focusing on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she discussed how Dr. King looked up to Mohandas K. Gandhi. She talked about Gandhi’s life and compared the two “changemakers” for peace. All the students took the “Live Your Life as Light” pledge. They discussed every word in the pledge. Words like respect, communicate, listen, and forgive. After they finished their discussions, the students went home with bookmarks she’d made that said, “Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong.”
Additionally, on June 15, 2015 at Gail’s Region 10 Education Service Center meeting, she will talk with librarians about Grandfather Gandhi and the activities she created to accompany the book.
A huge thank you to librarian Gail Shipley for sharing this story with all of us that day over lunch, for giving us her blessing to share it here and for sowing seeds for peace.