This month continues to bring good news about the success of 2012 African American Read-In (AARI) activities, like the one we enjoyed today. Ignoring the rain, students and community gathered in Sunny South Dallas, answering the call of reading, books and sharing African-American heritage at the second annual Cornerstone Baptist Church Read-In.
Today's literacy event was patterned after the long running Dallas city-wide African American Read-In I was honored to lead for ten years at the Majestic Theater (2000 - 2009) for the Dallas County Community College District.The city-wide African American Read-In was discontinued.
The Cornerstone AARI activity featured a Readers Walk of 1st - 12th grade students who read fiction and non-fiction excerpts written by a variety of Black authors. Readings were book-ended with lively song and dance performances. The diverse audience-- young, old, African American, Hispanic, Anglo, literate, non-literate, etc. -- all were delighted to participate and applaud..
Kofi Wadie Forson, student at Cabell Elementary School and first-place winner of the 2012 Gardere MLK Oratory Competition, delivered his speech of inspiration.
Children's author Quineka Ragsdale, graduate of Roosevelt High School, showed passion for literacy as she urged adults to listen to children talk about reading and challenged students to read everything they enjoy. Alejandro Perez, Jr., multi-disciplinary arts educator, engaged us with his learning technique of applying melodies and rhythms.
Students got books, backpacks and tee-shirts with theme: Reading is the Key to All Doors,
Cornerstone Baptist Church is led by Pastor Chris Simmons. Member Charlotte Runnels coordinated the read-in. Pastor Ernest Baylor was the emcee.
It was good to see the learning and sharing today at the 2012 African American Read-In at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 1819 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Sunny South Dallas.