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New literacy initiative features books with children of color as main character by African American authors

Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk will help launch a new literacy initiative spotlighting African American authors who write books with children of color as the main character.

Beginning at 4 p.m. this Sunday (June 28), and continuing on Sundays this summer, different guest readers will read aloud on Facebook Live.

The program – called 4-Reading Out Loud – is sponsored by UlTre Linked in partnership with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Beta Upsilon Omega Chapter. Organizers hope the program will introduce participants to a variety of diverse children’s books while promoting language and literacy development. It will air on facebook.com/UlTreLinked/

Families who register for the event will have an opportunity to receive a copy of the book so children will not only see and hear the stories but will also build their home libraries.

“It takes an entire community to ensure the success of our public schools and this partnership with UlTre Linked and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will enhance our efforts to build a community of readers,” Caulk said.

Caulk will kick-off the series with the book The Undefeated, written by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. The book is a love letter to black life in the United States that traces the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes. Peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, the text offers deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present.

“While advocates for racial and social justice are marching in the streets of Lexington, here in Kentucky, across our nation and around the world, I am excited to share this book with our families,” Caulk said. “The books we read have an impact on the way our children understand the world around them. The Undefeated allows black children to see themselves in literature, and teaches children of all races about the experiences of African Americans in our nation.”
Upcoming events include:

•  Sunday, July 12, 4 p.m.: Author Rasheda Smith reading her book, Kiyah’s Cotton Candy Curls
•  Sunday, July 26, 4 p.m.: Dantrea Hampton reading I Am Enough, by Grace Ayers
•  Sunday, August 2, 4 p.m.: Author Christine Williams reading her book Chrissy Doesn’t Like Her Hair!
•  Sunday, August 9, 4 p.m.: Sheila Stuckey reading Brown Sugar Babe, by Charlotte Watson Sherman
•  Sunday, August 16, 4 p.m.: Ramona Griffin reading Harlem Renaissance Party by Faith Ringgold
•  Sunday, August 23, 4 p.m.: Xavier Brown reading Mixed Me! by Taye Diggs
•  Sunday, August 30, 4 p.m.: Taureen Smith I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes
Families can register here.

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