Families Lead Read Alouds of Black History Books
At Langdon ES (DCPS), parents and grandparents were featured guest readers (part of the Teaching for Change Roving Readers program) in honor of Black History Month and Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action. They read in Ms. Louis' 3rd grade class and Ms. Scott's PK class.
In 3rd grade, the selection was Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle, which tells the story of a young girl of Afro-Cuban and Chinese descent who dreams of being the first female drummer. Linette Campbell, the mother of one of the students in the class, read the book and talked with the students about how a culture shift was needed to create more opportunities for women, and how women had to fight for equal rights.
In PK, Manuel Washington, the grandparent of one of the students, came all the way from West Virginia for the event. He, along with parents David and Brittany Young, read We March by Shane W. Evans, which tells the story of a Black family preparing to participate in the March on Washington. Mrs. Thomas, Teaching for Change's Roving Readers coordinator, passed out picket signs to all the students, and asked them to stomp their feet every time they heard the word "March." Mr. Washington comes to D.C. once a month to visit his granddaughter's class, but he made a point of coming today when his daughter told him about the reading for Black Lives Matter Week of Action. Mr. Washington spoke to the students about his experiences having to use bathrooms and water fountains marked "Colored." His first-hand knowledge of those days made a significant impact on both students and adults.
The PK students then performed for the guests in the classroom. They sang "We Shall Overcome" and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” It was a beautiful, emotional, and powerful experience for all.