READING IN: TPL celebrates African-American history

Published 8:50 pm Monday, February 17, 2020

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The Troy Public Library celebrated Black History Month with an African-American Read-In Monday afternoon.

Shanlie Wolter, children’s librarian, said the Read-In celebrated African-American literacy and literature.

“Student volunteers and staff read aloud a variety of storybooks and poems by African-American authors and illustrators,” Wolter said. “We also had a selection of recommended titles on display and available for checkout.”

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Volunteer readers included students from Jenny Meadows’ Theater for Youth class at Troy University.

“The Theater for Youth students were given the opportunity to read a book or poem of their choice to the children who participated in the African-American Read-In,” Meadows said.

Having the opportunity to read to a group of children outside the school environment was an outstanding learning experience, Meadows said.

“The African-American Read-In was especially important because the ‘Theater for Youth’ students will soon be working in schools where there is a diverse student population,” Meadows said. “The read-in emphasizes that all children should have opportunities to read about other children that are just like them.”

Meadows said although the African-American Read-In was about reading-stories, it was also a time for fun and games.

“We read stories and then we played games including charades and the children also jumped rope,” Meadows said. “And, they danced to music by Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. It was a fun and learning afternoon at the Troy Public Library.”

Lyn Dean, read Karamo Brown’s popular children’s book, “I Am Perfectly Designed.”

Dean said she especially likes the book because it is about loving who you are, exactly as you are, and children need to hear that message.

Mary-Allison Peace read “Honey, I Love,” a poem by Eloise Greenfield that lets children know that love can be found just about anywhere. Hannah Sheath chose Maya Angelou’s “When Great Trees Fall.”

Meadows said her class is now writing a play that will be performed at local schools and, perhaps, at the Troy Public Library.

Wolter said the Troy Public Library’s children’s department continues to have programs of interest and to the benefit of young people of all ages. Upcoming is “Let’s Learn About Black Inventors” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Few people know that African-American people invented the refrigerator and the gas mask and many other items that are important to our daily lives, Wolter said.

“During the ‘Let’s Learn About African-American Inventors’ program and story time, we will learn about black inventors that have simplified and improved our everyday lives with their ingenuity and imagination,” Wolter said.