Back
The Company

Remember, Persevere, Recognize: Celebrating AAPI Heritage

The Newsela Team
May 3, 2021

This May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage month. While Americans have been celebrating AAPI heritage for over 40 years, this year has felt markedly different. Here at Newsela, we acknowledge that this is a particularly painful moment for many in the AAPI community. Recent shootings and rising incidents of discrimination and violence have brought devastating loss to AAPI communities across the country. 

In the face of such adversity, it is even more essential to elevate the countless ways the AAPI community has enriched the United States. 

Our goal this month is to celebrate, remember, preserve and recognize the contributions of the AAPI community. In our upcoming AAPI Heritage series, we offer articles about the many different cultures within the AAPI community. Newsela’s mission is to provide meaningful classroom learning for every student. And for our students of AAPI heritage, that means making sure they see themselves reflected in the curriculum we offer. 

Each week this month, students will be able to delve into text sets we have carefully curated. We offer an extensive selection of articles about AAPI cultures and communities; we look at their histories and experiences; we shed light on AAPI activism; and lastly, we highlight individuals of AAPI heritage who have excelled in their fields. These text sets are a mix of news, biographies, histories, fiction, folktales and poems with roots reaching all the way to China, Laos, India, the Philippines and to many more places in between.

From a story about why Sikhs wear turbans to a text about the surprising origins of the fortune cookie, our content aims to be responsive and inclusive of the diverse groups that gather together under the umbrella of “Asian American Pacific Islander.” We also have an article that explores this idea directly, addressing what it means to use the term, “Asian American.” 

This month we are also expanding our poetry selection to include more poems written by poets of AAPI heritage. Janet Wong’s poem titled, “I am not a plucot (but I kind of am)” celebrates the diversity in the Asian American experience. The speaker talks about having a mother who is Korean and a father who is Chinese. Wong writes, “Each kind of Asian is different,” playfully likening herself to the plucot, a fruit that is both apricot and plum--a fruit that is mixed--just like she is. 

I’m an editor at Newsela, and I’m also Asian American. My parents migrated to the United States from India, thanks to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.  My parents and older sister arrived in New York City on the 4th of July, and they went straight to a picnic in Brooklyn to celebrate. I am thrilled to be able to seek out vibrant content that reflects the AAPI world for teachers and students. When I was a student, I would have loved to have seen my experience reflected in the curriculum in this way. 

With every article we find, we hope we can reach students directly on issues they care about. We hope our content this month will expand notions about who AAPI people are and how their labor, traditions and stories have shaped American society in important ways. 

Tanuja Mehrotra Wakefield is an Associate Editor at Newsela.

The Latest from @Newsela

"Our orientation as designers of learning environments and instructional materials is to create the right conditions by identifying blockers and removing them," implores @dcogandrew. Read the framework written by Newsela's Chief Academic Officer: https://t.co/IkV37qfbiE https://t.co/E0VAiWASwu
September 21, 2021, 1:00 PM
Set students up for a year of meaningful learning with a Back-to-School Scavenger Hunt! 🔎 Students will familiarize themselves with Newsela and learn how to make the most of the many features. Check it out: https://t.co/smVCDD8Stp
September 20, 2021, 6:30 PM
What's #SundayFunday without a giveaway? ⁠We're giving away 3 tumblers! ⁠ Here's how to enter: ⁠ 🍋 Follow @newsela⁠ 🍋 Tag 3 friends⁠ 🍋 Like our last 3 tweets ⁠ The winners will be randomly selected and announced on this post Wednesday. Best of luck! ⁠ https://t.co/rit4PpwxwI
September 19, 2021, 10:00 PM
When it comes to teaching literacy, content matters. We believe the best reader is an engaged reader, and content makes all the difference. ⭐ Bring context and relevance to any #ELA curriculum with Newsela ELA: https://t.co/zmuFt9Q0sU https://t.co/ioqgUDwzf9
September 19, 2021, 6:00 PM
We know that teachers are every districts’ biggest asset, and the biggest benefits go to students who learn from educators equipped to deliver engaging lessons every day. This blog shares the top 3 advantages of becoming a Newsela Certified Educator. ➡️ https://t.co/JBsDnZwAmJ https://t.co/zKBNp5V007
September 18, 2021, 1:00 PM
Discussing identity in your classroom? Learn from @BEmerick6, our NCE of the month! 🎉 Use her Text Set to help students explore how they define their identities, the intersections at play, and how outside influences may shape identities. https://t.co/C34OIf0x3q https://t.co/bPuOyPAAqW
September 17, 2021, 8:24 PM
Marvel's "Shang-Chi" moves beyond stereotypes and cliches to speak more accurately to the Asian American experience. Go behind-the-scenes of the family drama about a young Asian immigrant, using this article: https://t.co/XCTjI3C60b https://t.co/6uAaxoa0KQ
September 17, 2021, 4:00 PM
#teachertwitter: Are you in favor of assigning homework?
September 15, 2021, 10:45 PM

The best lessons start with the best content.

Ready to bring great instructional content to your students?

Contact Sales