In 2018, I was named a Massachusetts literacy champion. I was one of eight persons selected in the state that demonstrated promising literacy practices in literacy development. That makes our iRead initiative of championship caliber. Our iRead initiative works to encourage reading, writing, and language development among children, teenagers, and adults. In 2019 we shall continue our championship initiative by providing book clubs throughout the city of Springfield and much more.
Young Ladies Leading the Charge
The best way to get the youth involved is to solicit their voice, interests, and make things happen. I did just that with my 14 year old daughter regarding our up and coming youth book club. I asked her if there was a book that she was interested in reading, before I sent her several books to choose from. I believe that she made a wonderful selection in the book A Very Large Expanse of the Sea by author Tahereh Mafi.
Seeds of a Father #iREAD initiative Book Club Video Promo
The synopsis of the book is as follows:
"Hijabi Shirin, 16, starts at a new school in small-town America shortly after 9/11. She rages at those who assume that her religion and headscarf make her a terrorist, but instead of letting her anger “grip both sides of my mouth open and rip me in half,” she uses indifference as armor against the hostile stares of her peers. That is, until she meets Ocean James in her biology class. Against her better judgment, Shirin lets Ocean in and slowly begins to fall for him. But the new couple soon becomes targets of racism, xenophobia, and bigotry."
I must admit that this book seemed very interesting so I wasn't surprised that this book was selected. However, there was another request, she preferred the youth book club to be all young ladies. Absolutely, I replied, "I can make that happen."