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Using Coretta Scott King Award Winners to Promote Reading Among Families

By: | March 12, 2019 |

We’re very proud of all of our talented authors and illustrators who were honored with ALA Youth Media Awards this year, including the Coretta Scott King Award. And we’re impressed by the important work being done by the Coretta Scott King Program Committee. This year, they’re challenging librarians and educators across the country to hold at least one program or presentation featuring King Award-winning titles, and they’re calling it the 50-50 Initiative, with the hope of having at least one program in all 50 states.


According to School Library Journal, librarian Heather Thompson, who works at the Kenosha Public Library in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has developed a family book club using King Award winners.


The club’s February title was Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, and this month’s book is Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. April’s title will be One Crazy Summer by Rita William-Garcia.


Thompson structures meetings of the club based on a presentation given by Natasha Forrester Campbell and Nicole Lee Martin at the 2018 ALA Youth Media Conference in New Orleans. The presentation was called “A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words: Reaching Kids and Families with Graphic Novel Programming,”


At the beginning of the meeting, each attendee gives the book a secret rating from 1 to 10,and writes a summary of the book in 10 words or less, later reading their summaries aloud. Then there’s a 25-minute book discussion, followed by an extension activity that families can continue at home. So far, 7 families have signed up for the club, and Thompson looks forward to the program continuing to grow.


This program is significant because it puts award-winning books in the hands of children and families and, by involving parents, helps to build a culture of reading in which students feel supported and encouraged to develop a love of books. As Beanstack’s Felix Brandon Lloyd explains, involving a student’s family, as well as their school community, makes it more likely that a child or teen will continue to make reading a regular part of their daily life.


Feel free to browse our selection of Coretta Scott King Award winners – and all of  our winners from this year’s ALA Youth Media Awards – and add them to your collection today.



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