Sunday, June 06, 2010

Reading is Fundamental

A couple of years ago, Reading is Fundamental launched its Multicultural Literacy Campaign to promote reading in African American, Hispanic, and American Indian communities by providing children in those communities with books that reflect their lives.

To do that, RIF created its Literature Advisory Board and invited a group of people to help them select books that accurately reflect African American, Hispanic, and American Indian peoples. The group includes outstanding scholars in the field of children's literature. In addition to working online via email, we periodically get together to talk about the Multicultural Literacy Campaign. It is always a pleasure to visit with fellow scholars in children's literature.

In my last post, I noted I was in Washington D.C. for meetings at RIF. The meeting included a festive evening dinner to celebrate RIF's accomplishments over the past year. It included the Anne Richardson Volunteer of the Year Awards. It was terrific to see the short videos RIF put together about the three volunteers.

In the videos, children select books. Among the books shown in the videos are ones I recommend. Some are fiction, such as  Joy Harjo's The Good Luck Cat, Jan Bourdeau's Morning on the Lake, and Cynthia Leitich Smith's Jingle Dancer. Some are nonfiction in the We Are Still Here series such as Sandra King's Shannon, An Ojibwe Dancer,  Monty Roessel's Kinaalda, Russell M. Peters's Clambake.

Being from Nambe Pueblo in northern New Mexico, it was especially delightful to meet Annette Montoya from Taos, and view the video about her work in Taos! This time next month, I'll be home at Nambe for awhile.  

2010 RIF Volunteer of the Year Award Winners Video from Reading Is Fundamental on Vimeo.

I enjoy the work I do with RIF and look forward to the work we do in the coming year. This week I'll be in Michigan at the annual gathering of the Children's Literature Association. I look forward to learning about new research my colleagues are working on! I especially look forward to hanging out with Tom Crisp and Sarah Park.

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