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Marley Dias/Photo Credit: Flickr

Marley Dias has a voracious appetite for reading. In November 2015, Dias, then a sixth grader, launched a campaign called #1000BlackGirlBooks to collect and donate books that feature black girls as the main character. Since the campaign started Dias has collected over 9,000 books.

Dias, now 12-years-old, has written her first book, Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! The book is set to be released in January 2018. The book’s introduction will be written by award winning director Ava DuVernay. Dias landed Ava DuVernay to write the introduction of her book because she admired that DuVernay was investing in black girls. In an interview with Elle, Dias said “We both have similar goals for the work that we do—to promote diversity and to make sure that black girl stories are being told all across the world.”

School curriculums are rigid and make it hard for children to develop their unique gifts and talents. Yet, children know more than what standardized grades and tests dictate.

Dias is an inspiration to young girls who want to be a leader. But in so many ways, children have been learning that if they want to do something big—start a business, organize an event—all it takes is some imagination, a little initiative, and some help from adults.

Literacy skills can help girls become strong leaders by helping them develop effective communication. Communication skills that are sharpened helps us to read, write, speak, listen, think, and respond critically. One of the ways communication skills can be sharpened is by  reading a book.  And what better way to promote literacy and books than to have an activity related to books you like to read. Here are five suggestions from the American Library Association on how you can promote a book related activity in your school or neighborhood.

Author/Illustrator Event

Invite one of your favorite author or illustrator to school to give a presentation.  Organizing an author/illustrator event takes planning. Publishing houses recommend that invitations for an author or an illustrator be submitted at least 8 months ahead of the scheduled event. Authors can make more than one presentation a day. There are even nonprofits organizations that offer special series that help parents and educators build children’s grade reading skills.

Author/Illustrator Fan Mail

You can make your own author/illustrator day by creating a fan mail club. Write about your favorite book, share artwork. Follow your favorite author illustrator on their blog.

Battle of the Books

There are always fun facts you like remembering about books you love and share with your friends.  Just select a few books, remember the story details, create teams, and quiz other team members.

Choice Book Awards

Everyone has their favorite book. You can create your own choice book award by having book discussions and other activities. Let your peers vote on their top choice.

Intergenerational Book Group

The Snowy Day and Happy Hair Aren’t the only books that adults enjoy as much as children. Choose a book for both adults and children to read.

 

Here’s more information on how you can plan an author/illustrator event:

Penguin Young Readers

HarperCollins Children’s Books/author visits

Scholastic

 

Aeneas Hawkins is a bright high school student with prospects of attending college on an athletic scholarship.

Aeneas received scholarship offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, and Ohio State, and many others.

His decision to pick the best overall school should be simple. But it’s not. That’s because Aeneas was unfortunate enough to be raised in a football family.

His father, Artrell Hawkins, would proudly like him to go to his alma mater, the University of Cincinnati.  Artrell Hawkins played in the NFL career with the Bengals, Panthers, and Patriots.

His uncle, Andrew Hawkins, wants him to go to his alma mater, the University of Toledo. Andrew Hawkins played six seasons in the NFL and the Canadian Football League.

Another uncle, Wayne Jones, doesn’t want him to agree to any other school than the University of Pittsburgh. While his other uncle, Wallace Gilberry, is rooting for him to go to Alabama.

Cincinnati, Toledo, Pittsburgh and Alabama are great schools. But there’s also Penn State, Ohio State, Clemson, and Notre Dame.  Aeneas is caught between wanting to please his family, and wanting to follow his heart.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) Gary Owen is with him to help put his mind at ease.

 

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