@Wildwood: African-American Read-In (RECAP)

Students Enjoy 2nd Annual African-American Read-In at Wildwood

Amherst Police Officer participates in Wildwood African-American Read-In Day
Officer participates in Wildwood African-American Read-In Day

For the second year in a row Wildwood hosted an African-American Read-In Day on February 12th. This day, which is celebrated nationally during Black History month, is a way to recognize and become more familiar with the stories, books and poetry of African-American authors. The idea for an African-American Read-In Day was started by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) twenty-five years ago. Sue Woodfork, the long-time librarian at Mark’s Meadow School, brought this tradition to Amherst in the 1990s. African-American Read-In Day has a simple, but powerful premise: all twenty-one classrooms (K-6) will have at least one book by an African-American author or about an African-American read aloud by a guest reader on this day. Guest readers, such as parents, extended family members, and community members are invited into the school on this day to read a favorite book.

Through the African-American Read-In Wildwood School opens its doors our larger community and invites them in. Our goal is to create long-lasting partnerships with a diverse group of community members who can inspire our students with their own stories of success.

We began this special day by gathering for an all-school assembly. We heard poems by Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes, and heard an Anansi tale of how stories came into this world told by a special guest storyteller, Natalie Sowell, professor of theatre with a specialty in children’s theatre at Hampshire College. We closed the assembly by joining our voices in This Little Light of Mine led by our music teacher Jake Brownell with special guest saxophonist Mtalika Banda.

By Nick Yaffe, Wildwood School Principal
Originally published in Learning in ARPS blog

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