Looking Back at School Celebrations of the 2022 African American Read-In - National Council of Teachers of English
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Looking Back at School Celebrations of the 2022 African American Read-In

In February, the African American Read-In inspired school and community readings and events across the nation. Here’s a quick look at some of the great ways teachers, students, and other readers honored African American books and authors in schools.

As part of Muncie Community Schools corporation-wide Black History Month celebration, eighth-grade English language arts classes at Northside Middle School in Muncie, Indiana, hosted their second NCTE African American Read-In. The school library was set up for reading, viewing, listening, and interactive stations: speeches, biographies, literature and poetry, music and visual arts, history, games, and different genres of Afrofuturism. Their event is shown in the above image.

Duquesne University’s Michael P. Weber Learning Skills Center hosted the 4th Annual NCTE African American Read-In event to showcase and celebrate the literary works of African American authors, composers, poets, and other artists. Students and guests to Duquesne University’s campus could freely visit the “Campus Walk: Who’s Who Quotable Quote” outdoor display to participate in the African American Read-In during the entire month of February. 

North Garland High School held their 3rd Annual African American Read-In where they met in the evening to enjoy Black literature.

Abolitionist Study Group: Literacies Toward Freedom” was a seven-week virtual seminar devoted to utilizing various forms of literacy to examine and practice abolition. The seminar met on Tuesday evenings beginning February 8 and ending March 29, 2022. The seminar was cofacilitated by Stephanie D. Keene and Dustin Gibson as part of the University of Arkansas Brown Chair in English Literacy Initiative’s programming for the 2022 National African American Read-In. 

Snow Hill Elementary School, Maryland, hosted an African American Read-In event, with over 350 participants, featuring renowned motivational speaker, Dr. Eric Thomas. Dr. Thomas read Change Sings by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. Dr. Thomas’s belief that “every kid has the promise of greatness with them—every single one” echoes perfectly the sentiment of Gorman’s 2021 picture book.

This was the first time the College of Southern Idaho initiated an African American Read-In but they hope it becomes an annual event.  The local news did a piece on the event.

The high schools in West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District held simultaneous events on Monday, February 21st. Staff and student readers were invited to share a piece of literature by an African American author with high school students in the media center during a day-long event. Over 32 classes of students were able to participate in this event over the course of the day. Students were also invited to browse and check out books by African American authors found in the current library collection and to give suggestion for new books.

Leonardtown High School’s Freshman Academy students planned an African American Read-In for their school community. There were ten guest readers and three musicians in the school’s Media Center. Students in grades nine to twelve listened and asked questions. Lunch was provided from African American cookbooks and prepared by Food and Nutrition Science students. In addition, students curated readings and participated in the afternoon sessions. There were sessions about Langston Hughes and Slam Poetry that occurred in conjunction with the Read-In. 

Teachers at RB Hayes High School in Delaware, Ohio picked poetry written by Black authors; then student library aides folded the poems into notes that were distributed around the library. Students could pick and read a poem and write a reflection and/or favorite line on a sticky note to hang up on sheets. Students who participated received an African American Read-In button.

At the Olentangy Schools African American Read-In and Author Panel elementary and preschool students and families read nineteen different books by African American authors throughout the month of February. Use this link to access the Preschool & Elementary Reading and Activity Calendar. Middle school students and families read Simone Breaks All The Rules by Debbie Rigaud. Click here to access the suggested Middle School Discussion & Activity Guide. High school students and families read The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. Here is the suggested High School Discussion & Activity Guide

Two senior English classes participated in the African American Read-In celebration at the Health and Science Charter School, Bronx, New York. Several seniors read aloud excerpts from books they had chosen.  Others read their own responses about the story’s conflict to their fellow classmates. Six students read to 45 students and three teachers.

Thank you to those that hosted an event for the 2022 African American Read-In! We invite you to visit the 2022 Report Card.


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