Hi Erin! I loved reading your proposal. I think this is such a fantastic idea and so exciting! Learning how to write social stories at Downtown Little School has influenced my teaching everywhere I've been since. I made one this year for a boy in my class who lost his father and we keep one copy in the classroom. He often takes it out to look at it and I think it continues to make a real difference in how he is processing his traumatic experience. I see how a weight gets lifted when mysterious and scary events are acknowledged with concrete stories. I sometimes feel daunted by how much time the illustrations take for me to make and an app would be so useful. I could see how it would enable teachers and parents to feel much more empowered to make books and how it could make the whole process more accessible. I'm so impressed by your idea and I can't wait to hear more about how it develops!
I enjoyed reading your proposal and absolutely agree with you that anti-bias practices are critical during the early childhood years, when children are first starting to develop their own sense of self and their first peer relationships. As an early childhood educator working with low-income refugee and immigrant children, I am dedicated to anti-bias education and creating a classroom environment that positively reflects each child's identity. Something I have noticed from my classroom observations is how even at the age of 3 children of color have absorbed the standard of whiteness from messages they receive through movies, books, toys, and influences outside of the classroom (for example, a 3 year old insisting that a white doll is the princess in her imaginary play scenario). Are you familiar with Teaching for Change? They have some wonderful anti-bias resources for parents and teachers of young children: http://www.teachingforchange.org/teaching-about-race
Good luck with your project! I think you're doing great work and I look forward to learning more about it!