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Belle Terre Elementary’s African American Read-In on Feb. 22 Seeking Volunteers

| February 2, 2018

School Board member Colleen Conklin at Belle Terre Elementary's African-American Read-In last year. (© FlaglerLive)

School Board member Colleen Conklin at Belle Terre Elementary’s African-American Read-In last year. (© FlaglerLive)

Volunteer readers, you’re wanted: Belle Terre Elementary is hosting its annual African American Read-In on Thursday, February 22, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the school (5545 Belle Terre Pkwy, Palm Coast) as part of the national African-American Read-In sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English.

The goal is to make literacy a significant, exciting and relevant part of African American History Month. The school is seeking many volunteers to read to classes, with each volunteer assigned to one class, and all classes from kindergarten through sixth grade slated to get a reader. The books will be provided, and will be selected works by black authors. (See the account of last year’s Read-In here.)

After the read-aloud, readers are asked to spend time discussing her or his profession and accomplishments with students. Last year’s event drew the likes of mixed martial arts competitor Davaughn Brown, Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly and nearly a dozen members of his staff and ranks, Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland, School Board member Colleen Conklin, Linda Sharp-Matthews, president of the Flagler County NAACP and many others.

If you are interested in participating, please contact LaToya Lockhart ( or Priscilla Campbell ( by February 12.

If you are unable to volunteer the school is asking for a monetary donation. “It is our goal this year to provide all students in grades kindergarten through third grade (789 students) with a personal copy of a grade level specific book to take home,” Terence Culver, the school’s principal, said in a letter to potential volunteers.

The National African-American Read-In was established in 1990 and has since spread to schools, churches, bookstores, libraries, businesses and anywhere else two or more people gather to read out loud and highlight black literature and diversity. “It is important for all of us to see ourselves in books,” Jerrie Cobb Scott, a member of the Black Caucus in 1990 and the founder of the African American Read-In, said at the time.

5 Responses for “Belle Terre Elementary’s African American Read-In on Feb. 22 Seeking Volunteers”

  1. sid swartz says:

    WHY ??????

  2. Jordyn says:

    This is excellent, kudos to Dr. Culver and BTES, as well as all who volunteer on their efforts with this!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t it racist to have this for African American’s and not non African America’s? I agree with sid—why????

  4. Had enough? says:

    Why is it racist to showcase accomplishments of a group? As we await the lift off of the Falcon Rocket from Cape Canaveral, would it be racist to showcase the accomplishments of the men and women who have worked in the space industry throughout the years? I think Hidden Figures would be an excellent place to start.

    Perhaps those of you who are questioning this effort should volunteer.

  5. MannyHMo says:

    Labeling is very important. We have to be careful. Actually most of the children in the picture are non-African -American. Indeed our children should be able to have a good picture on what they want to be in their future to compete globally. This is a very good move in creating awareness and encouragement the children’s minds.

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