Last week, CCS celebrated Reading to End Racism. The goal of this annual program is “to raise awareness of the harm racism causes and to help develop skills and strategies to actively counter racism in order to create a supportive and welcoming environment for all children.” Each year, we work together as a school and community to help the event run smoothly. Our school and public libraries gather great stories, and teachers and community members work together to give our students the best experience possible. We were so happy to be able to access the resources available from the awesome “We Need Diverse Books” Campaign.
Our classrooms welcomed volunteers from the local community to share stories with them. Volunteer readers chose books to share that had personal meaning to them. The books then became the vehicles for sharing their own stories. There are many things to celebrate about this event. It shows our students how much their neighbors care about them. It makes print and paper stories come to life through the sharing of our own personal narratives. And this year, I noticed that other communities around the state of Vermont are spreading the Reading to End Racism message. The Central VT Reading to End Racism community has great resources to check out!
This year, we were fortunate to have award-winning local author Laban Carrick Hill read aloud from his book Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave. I cannot think of a better way to begin the week. Each classroom followed along on their very own autographed copies of the book. This was pure magic. Laban’s sonorous voice carried not just the words , but somehow also his excitement for the story directly to the students’ ears. Many teachers said it was like he was right in the room with them! We thank him so much for sharing this story of art, words, and the power of hope.