Krista Soli Foster always imagined “going on a pilgrimage” to different centers of worship with her daughter, learning about their core values. She wants to model respect, love, curiosity, and acceptance for Lydia, age 6, who is being allowed to make up her own mind about faith and religion.
“Then I started to think, ‘Why keep this to myself?’” she says. “The whole world needs more respect, love, curiosity, and acceptance!”
In response to Soli Foster’s ideas, we launched the Social-Emotional Learning Series last year. It uses books as the foundation for family conversations about topics like compassion, gender, and disability. In January’s World Religions and Beliefs workshop, we read books, explored the Golden Rule, and drew pictures of our own beliefs.
At home afterward, Lydia (pictured right) encouraged her father to draw his own picture, and hung the family’s three pictures in their front window. “Now when neighbors visit, she takes them aside to tell them all about our pictures!” Soli Foster says.
Soli Foster says the workshop gave her tools to help guide her daughter, and “the fact that it was all presented with love and understanding filled Lydia with joy and a sense of deep acceptance that I wish more people felt when discussing other religions.”
Grow with us
Community Empathy Series
Wednesdays, June 12–Aug. 14, 4–5 pm, various locations. Best for ages 5–10 with caregivers.
- June 12: Gardening at Whittier Elementary School
- June 19: Making Connections at the Main Library
- June 26: Yoga at the Maze Branch
- July 2: Reading Rainbow at the Main Library
- July 10: Gardening at Whittier Elementary School
- July 17: All About the Bees at the Maze Branch
- July 24: Making Connections at the Dole Branch
- July 31: Crafting at the Oak Park Arms
- Aug. 7: Meditation at the Maze Branch
- Aug. 14: Gardening at Whittier Elementary School
Social-Emotional Learning Series: Connectedness
Tuesday, July 16, 4–5 pm, Dole Branch. Best for ages 5–10 with caregivers.