I am one of Marely's biggest fans, and you should be too! This 11 year old young lady is helping to shed light on a problem we've had for longer than she's been alive. It's a sad and true fact that you will likely not head to your nearest Target or Barnes & Noble and find a plethora of books where the main characters are anything other than white boys and girls. I know because even for our Cocktails for a Cause event many guests shared their frustration about not being able to find diverse books to donate.
I can't wait to see what other great things Marley will do for her community as she continues to push us to acknowledge what's lacking in not only her classroom but classrooms across the United States.
To learn more about Marley's movement, check out this NPR article here.
Visit this link to see the list of highly recommended African-American children's books: http://aalbc.com/books/children.ph_p.
10 Things That Wouldn't Exist Without Black Americans
Did you know this ShondaLand star is a native Houstonian!? Click here to see Tracy Clemons' ABC13 interview with Kendrick Sampson.
Scholastic has a great article, 13 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month, for you to review and select activities for your kiddos to complete. Click here to check it out.
She sat at the table with her legal-sized, yellow notepad as she jotted notes and thoughts and ideas for her next poem. Those words on a page turn into a beautiful expression from the heart of one of Houston's premiere poets and spoken word artist, Tina B.
A native Houstonian and graduate of Texas A&M University, Tina B. most certainly has a way with words. Her ability to pull at the soul strings (yep- we have moved far beyond heart strings) of her listeners is a true testament of why educators should continue to make poetry an important part of their curriculum. When asked how she thought teachers could use poetry as a tool to inspire students to write more, Tina B. says:
"Have fun! Highlight on the creative attributes of poetry and that there is no "wrong" in it. A student has the full ability to create fantasies, and to dream, and to play with words and it is all acceptable. Another option is to expose students to youth poets who are excelling all over America. Youth poetry is the latest phenomenon making big waves in public headlights and mainstream platforms. Challenge a student to imagine themselves being not a person who has written a poem, but a person who can be identified as "a poet". I remember when the distinction was made in my life, and it was a moment I will never forget; it changed the way I saw myself and my gift."
Tina B. believes poetry is a powerful tool she can use to express herself because, as a Christian, she has been given this gift for two reasons: for the glorification of God and for the common good and edification of the Body.
"This is bigger than me. It's not about me. I'm just a vessel."
To learn more about Tina B. and her booking availability, visit http://www.tinabpoetry.com_/.
Fluency is an extremely important reading skill students need in order to better comprehend text. And what is karaoke? Well, it's a fun way to turn a seemingly tedious task of building fluent readers into the highlight of every school day. For those schools who use karaoke fluency (and those who don't but want to try it out), check out the videos below and share them with your kids as you celebrate Black History Month.