Buckley Country Day School Hosted Black History Month Read-Aloud

In honor of Black History Month, Buckley Country Day School held a school-wide Community Read-Aloud event in February. The school’s librarian chose specific books for each grade level to represent the culture and history of African-Americans.

Jean-Marc Juhel, Ph.D., the school’s headmaster, wanted to do something different to celebrate Black History Month this year, says Brett Topel, director of communications for the school. “Something a little more powerful for the students, so we decided to hold our first annual Community Read-Aloud with students, advisors, and teachers,” Topel says.

Patricia Russac, the school’s head librarian, chose specific books to represent the culture and history of African Americans. The following books were chosen:

  • Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson for Nursery
  • Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwell for pre-K
  • The Color of Us by Karen Katz for kindergarten
  • Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson for first grade
  • Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People To Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford for second grade
  • These Hands by Margaret H. Mason for third grade
  • Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine for fourth grade
  • Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester for fifth grade
  • Lillian’s Right to Vote by Jonah Winter and Shane W. Evans for sixth grade
  • Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth by Anne Rockwell for seventh grade
  • Still I Rise by Maya Angelou for eighth grade

“There were many benefits to doing grade level read-alouds instead of a school-wide Black History Month assembly this year,” Dr. Juhel says. “Students and teachers were clearly engaged in meaningful conversations about the contributions of African-Americans to our country’s history, prejudice, racism, equity, and kindness. It was also exciting to witness the interactions between students and teachers who may not normally be reading to them and discussing such topics with them. I can see us doing this more often.”

Photo: A group of fifth-graders listens to Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester as part of Buckley Country Day School’s Black History Month read-aloud event.

Courtesy Buckley Country Day School