Black Caucus of the American Library Association announces Reading is Grand! Celebrating Grand-Families Telling Our Stories @ Your Library grant winners

NEW ORLEANS – During the American Library Association (ALA) Conference and Exhibition,

June 21 – June 26, Karen Lemmons, Chair of the 2018 Reading is Grand! Celebrating Grand-Families Telling Our Stories @ Your Library Selection Committee announced four libraries will receive the 2018 Reading is Grand! grant. Reading is Grand! is a celebration of the important role African American grandparents and older adults play in the lives of children. It is through their infinite wisdom and experience that children learn the unique cultural and familial values that help them grow into valuable contributors to the community.

The grant-winning libraries — Broward County Library, Fort Lauderdale, FL; Kinard Elementary School, Clover, SC; Middle College High School, Memphis, TN; and Uniondale Public Library, Uniondale, NY— were selected based on the level of creativity and originality of program criteria, action plans, level of involvement of grandparents in the activities, and impact of the program on the community.

The four winning programs are as follows:

Broward County Library, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The theme, “Cooking with Carver Ranches: History, Literacy, and Love @ the Library” is a several months long new initiative of the Carver Ranches Library in partnership with the City of West Park. The first phase of this initiative will take place during the month of September in celebration of Grand Families and Grandparents Day. Beginning September 4, and for the next three weeks, pre-school age children and grandparents will read books together. Grandparents will share stories of growing up in the Carver Ranches Community as well as share a favorite recipe from their childhood that has a special memory for them. This interaction will continue throughout the second phase, in which the grandparents and youth together will prepare the grandparents’ recipes. The recipes and stories will be compiled into a story/cookbook.

Kinard Elementary School, Clover, SC.

The theme, “Mawmaw & Pawpaw, You’re Telling Me a Story!”, begins September 10, with the Mayor of Clover, issuing a proclamation declaring Grandparents Week at Kinard Elementary School. During that week, elementary students will use iMovie to introduce their Mawmaws and Pawpaws’ sharing life stories. Other activities include a grandparents’ read-a-thon in the library; Mawmaw’s favorite recipe day, in which students will produce a Mawmaw’s Memories Cookbook. The culminating activity will be breakfast with the grandparents.

Middle College High School, Memphis, TN.

The theme, “March On! Memphis! (Remembering the 1968 Sanitation Strike), begins in August. All the students from Middle College High School will read the book, Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop—The Sanitation Strike of 1968. After reading the book, students will write a personal literary response to the book. In September, during a school-wide assembly, students will hear a guest panel of five grandparents and one Memphis sanitation worker discuss their memories of the Memphis strike, the personal impact of Dr. King’s Mountaintop speech and his assassination. Questions and answers will follow the presentation and students will present their written reflections on the 1968 strike and Dr. King.

Uniondale Public Library, Uniondale, NY.

Reading is Grand: Bridging the Generations to celebrate African American Heritage is a three-part series which will bring together grandchildren and their grandparents so that these children can learn about and document their family history, culture and traditions. The first part will be an intergenerational fundamental genealogy workshop. The second part will be a Freedom Quilt craft workshop in which grandparents will work with their grandchildren to make “no sew” freedom quilts. The culminating activity will be a food heritage celebration and intergenerational dialogue in which grandparents and their grandchildren will discuss the importance of knowing one’s heritage, while participating in a communal dining experience.

.The 2018 Reading is Grand Celebrating Grand-Families @ Your Library selection committee includes, Chair Karen Lemmons, Library Media Specialist, Detroit School of Arts, Detroit, MI;

Denyvetta Davis, President, BCALA, Roland Barksdale-Hall, Library Director, Quinby Street Resource Center, and Kirby McCurtis, Administrator, North Portland Library, Multnomah County Library, Portland Oregon.


The Black Caucus of the American Library Association serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.

Contact Person:

Karen Lemmons, Chair 2018 Reading is Grand! Selection Committee
Phone: 313.580.4253
Email: [email protected]

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