African American school boy reading a book

Balanced Literacy

Fall festivities have begun! Halloween and Thanksgiving themed decor fill the classrooms and stores, but its the literacy rate among boys in our nation, especially young Black boys, which is frightening and of concern to our organization. Here are a few thought-provoking articles: Growing Up In A Household Full Of Books Is A Major Boost […]

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4 Books That’ll Take You Around the World

By Zenobia Jackson August 11, 2017   One of my favorite quotes about literacy comes from Mason Cooley: “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.” A great book allows one to travel along with the characters, to see what they see and to feel what they feel. […]

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Getting Kids to Read by Choice

By Zenobia Jackson July 28, 2017 Allowing children, and specifically boys to select what they read can be a powerful change agent in the motivation to read. In the majority of schools, student choice is an education phrase that is thrown around to say that we are giving students choice in their learning. But in […]

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3 Ways to Prevent Summer Slide

By Felicity LuHill July 10, 2017   What is Summer Slide? Summer Slide is a fun-sounding phrase for a serious issue. It’s the tendency to lose some level of knowledge or skill set achieved the previous school year during summer break. It is most likely to occur with struggling readers and children who “slide” out of […]

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3 Takeaways From Alvin Irby’s Workshop

By Felicity LuHill June 30, 2017   A couple weeks ago, Barbershop Books Founder, Alvin Irby led his workshop, “Kale Salad & Boogers: How Cultural Competency Creates Transformative Reading Experiences” at the National Book Foundation’s conference, Why Reading Matters. Along with being direct about the issues young black boys face in schools today, Alvin also […]

U.S. School Children Watch President Obama’s Speech

Why White Kids Need Diverse Children’s Books

by @alvinirby  June 19, 2015 The devaluation of black lives doesn’t happen overnight nor is the process of dehumanizing those associated with blackness limited to a single ethnic group. All over the world, we find big black men standing outside bars, nightclubs, and department stores, while their lighter-skinned relatives exercise a different, and arguably, a […]

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8 Diverse Children’s Books to Read this Spring

By Felicity LuHill April 3, 2017   “Oh Yes! Oh Yes! It’s Springtime!” by Susan Ring, Jeff Borkin, and Andy Mastrocinque: Join the Little Einsteins as they travel through time and space to help their friend baby tulip bloom! “Who Likes Rain?” by Wong Herbert Yee: It’s April showers, which means grabbing rain gear and jumping into puddles. […]

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3 Things Kids Teach Us About Race

By Felicity LuHill March 28, 2017   I was recently introduced to a study CNN did on children’s perception of race, “A Look at Race Relations Through a Child’s Eyes:” Though it’s important to note that this study was done in 2012, I believe the conclusions of this study are still pertinent to today. On […]