You are on page 1of 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more Information Contact
Dalain Williams: 817-797-8900

B.L.A.C.K. Community Reads Initiative Aimed at Increasing Literacy and Unity in Black Community via Study-groups
FORT WORTH, TX, August 27, 2013 — September is declared National Literacy Month and students across the country are embarking on a new school year. Many Black students are returning to schoolhouses across the U.S. to overcrowded classroom and with little to no access to African-centered curriculums and information. There was a recent article published in the New York Times, “The Link Between Reading Level and Dropout Rates,” that suggested Black students may not be “reading comfortably” on grade level due to the lack of exposure to early literacy programs. However, studies have shown that Culturally Based Education (CBE) is one way to increase academic achievement and graduation rates within the black community. With the Black Community Reads Literacy Program, our community can unify all stakeholders in the continued education of our community by collectively reading one (1) book together. The public education system in America often fails to present an accurate, complete, and inclusive history of Black people. Therefore, the Black community must study and educate themselves on matters concerning our heritage, our values, our achievements, and our vision as a culture. Based on the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 90 million Americans read at basic and below-basic levels. Additionally, results from 2009 National Center for Education Statistics show that 54 percent of 4th grade and 44 percent of 8th grade African American students scored below the “Basic” level on the National Assessment of Education Process (NAEP) reading test. By coming together as a community and reading a thought-provoking book, our community will be enriched with stronger values, encouraged through literacy, unified collectively, provided a platform for continued dialogue, and engaged in the education and success of the black community. We are asking that individuals and organizations purchase, what is considered a “timeless piece of classic literature,” The Mis-Education of the Negro by Dr. Carter G. Woodson from a locally owned Black bookstore or online by Saturday, August 31, 2013. Go to the website www.BlacksRead.com and use the resource section to find a study group or start a study group. “The Mis-Education is one of the two most recommended books by academia on Black culture. We would love to see organizations, churches, pledge to start early with getting our babies on the right track for this school year, and adopt a grade-level at a school in their community to commit to reading to them during this initiative. Hopefully this becomes a fundamental part of our village philosophy,” said Donya Craddock, owner of The Dock Bookshop in Fort Worth, Texas. During the month of September, read the book with your study group of 3 or more individuals and use the study guide to assist through the process. Lastly, make the reading fun and enjoyable. For example, consider the creative possibilities of encouraging others to read and participate through social media so that the project can reach its full potential This year marks the 80th Year Anniversary of The Mis-Education of the Negro. Dr. Carter G. Woodson is considered the “Father” of Black History Month. A Ph.D. recipient from Harvard University in 1912, Dr. Woodson used education as his platform to educate his community starting in 1897. In 1915, he co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Through ASNLH, Woodson initiated the “Negro History Week” in 1926 as a way to celebrate the accomplishments and educate the general public about Black culture. Negro History Week grew to what we know today as Black History Month. Dr. Woodson was born in 1875 to enslaved parents, but within a single generation he was able to have a positive national and global impact on Black life. His life is an example of how education, literacy, collective work, and selfdetermination can add value to Black culture in the United States for generations to come. ###