Author Archives: Anne L. Hunter


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



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.


If you’ve ever met a child living with juvenile arthritis, you’ll find they’re not weak; they’re a warrior. They endure multiple doctor appointments, deal with medications, undergo surgeries, and hurdle over fatigue to complete daily routines. They’re children living with an adult disease. Children living with juvenile arthritis have a hard time keeping up with Read More →

Monet Constant cherishes the time when ordinary routines with her 4-year-old daughter Sanaa, become brain building moments. On week day mornings, while Constant is busy preparing to go to work, she lets Sanaa flick the light switch. Turning on the light stimulates Sanaa’s brain and also serves as a teaching tool in thinking how much Read More →

School holidays give youth a chance to sleep in and enjoy the day off. These are also days when parents worry about their child’s safety. However, Raushanah Shamsid-Deen Hargrove found a solution where youth can be productive and stay active. Hargrove is the founder and CEO of Young Educated Athletes, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated Read More →

Track and field fans are learning more about what really drives Leah Nugent. After watching the tall 5’8″ figure grace the 2016 Rio Olympic Games six months ago, they’re still astounded by her achievements.  Fans caught a glimpse of her transition from an All-American at Abington High School, and graduate of the University of Kentucky, Read More →

Staying on top of your child’s food allergies takes effort. You feel good knowing what’s in your child’s food so you can help prevent them from getting sick. But what if you didn’t know all the ingredients? If your child suffers from a food allergy, letting them eat a snack—especially if it’s packaged —won’t do. Read More →

School lunches are packed with nutritional value. In a recent study, researchers found that lunches served in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) have higher nutritional quality than lunches bought from home. The report stated that the lunches are high in dairy-rich foods, lower in empty calories from solid fats and added sugars, and lower Read More →