In honor of Black History Month, a group of local students are looking forward to telling stories at libraries in the area.
Upward Bound students from Sampson County Schools are celebrating black literary achievements through the African-American Read-In (AARI). During the month of February, participants will read children’s books and works by writers, artists and other important figures. The event is open to the public.
Marlow Artis, director of Sampson County’s Upward Bound, is looking forward to working with the Sampson-Clinton Public Library system. The AARI is Upward Bound’s service project for the month. Upward Bound’s purpose is t0 guide students towards college.
“We’re really excited about it,” Artis said. “The African-American Read-In has been celebrated in our country for more than 25 years. So we’re really happy to host sessions here in Sampson County.”
The AARI was established in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English. Its purpose is to make literacy an important part of Black History Month. The theme is “For the Love of Diversity and Literacy.”
“It was just celebrated during a weekend, but it expanded and is now celebrated throughout the month of February,” Artis said.
During the program, he expressed how Upward Bound students and listeners of all races and backgrounds will benefit from the reading session.
“We know that diversity is rally important in our country,” he said. “Our country is more diverse than it was and it continuing to diversify.”
In addition to libraries, the reading sessions are held in coffee shops, schools and other locations.
The read-in is scheduled to kickoff from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, at the J.C. Holliday Library, 217 Graham St., Clinton. Miriam Lamb Memorial Library in Garland (144 S. Church St., Garland) will host the second session at the same time on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The library is located 144 S. Church St., Garland.
Next, Upward Bound students will travel to the Roseboro Public Library (300 W. Roseboro St.) on Wednesday, Feb. 14. The last reading session is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Bryan Memorial Library (302 Weeksdale St., Newton Grove). All sessions are scheduled for 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Artis said the students will play a part in literacy efforts in Sampson County by promoting the importance of reading. Upward Bound hopes to continue the AARI program in 2019.
“When we talked with the library, we thought it was important to spread it out because we have such a large community,” he said. “We really want to make sure our libraries are utilized. It’s a great resource for the community. After our students read the excerpts and the children’s books and do their public presentations, we’ll be encouraging families to get those library cards and really utilize them.”
For more information, contact Artis at 910-592-1401, Ext.. 20137 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.