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Reading for their Life Getting it Right: Building a Bridge to Literacy for Adolescent African- American Males.

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Presentation on theme: "Reading for their Life Getting it Right: Building a Bridge to Literacy for Adolescent African- American Males."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reading for their Life Getting it Right: Building a Bridge to Literacy for Adolescent African- American Males

2 Why Worry about African American Males? Creative Commons License 3.0Creative Commons License 3.0 from David ParkerDavid Parker

3 Only 14% of African American 8th graders reached proficiency on national reading tests (NAEP Data 2009)NAEP Data 2009 Image under Creative Commons 3.0 by Ian BrittonCreative Commons 3.0Ian Britton

4 Fewer than half of African American males receive their high school diplomas. (National Summary: Diplomas Count 2008) Image from BV Black SpinBV Black Spin

5 African Americans between the ages of 15 and 24 are roughly eight times more likely to be the victim of homicide than whites in the same age group. Source: Health, United States Image licensed under Creative Commons 2.0 by Mika JarvinenCreative Commons 2.0Mika Jarvinen

6 The unemployment rate for African American males is nearly twice that of white males. Source: The Employment Situation, Image from Grand Rapids PressGrand Rapids Press

7 African American men comprise over 40% of the prison population in the United States, despite making up only 14% of the national population. Source: Prison Inmates at Midyear Image from 37 Days37 Days

8 Alfred Tatum on RFTL

9 Literacy can define a person's path through life. "underexposure to texts… contributes to a life in which [they] experience greater economic, judicial, and social strife and disappointment" (Tatum 2009, xii).

10 An Enabling Text Should: Teach students to be, do, think, and act. My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas Image from

11 An Enabling Text Should: Show students who they are, where they come from, and who they want to be (a sense of identity) Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

12 An Enabling Text Should Contain elements or characters that students can identify with and relate to Handbook for Boys by Walter Dean Myers Handbook for Boys

13 Menace Destiny You Don't Even Know Me Vocabulary

14 I’ve been wondering lately, Trying to figure out just how it could be That you can see me so often And still don’t know a thing about me. - Sharon Flake, "You Don't Even Know Me" I am an invisible man.... I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. - Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man, 1952 Text to Introduce the Text

15 "You Don't Even Know Me"

16 Framing Question Criteria * Larger than the Text itself * Not be able to be answered with a "Yes" or "No" * Students can connect it to their lives

17 Further Resources for "Getting it Right" Boone, J., Rawson, C., & Vance, K. (2010). Getting it right: Building a bridge to literacy for African- American adolescent males. School Library Monthly, 27(2), Getting it right: Building a bridge to literacy for African- American adolescent males Reading for their Life: An Appendix Created for School Librarians Reading For Their Lives in Durham, North Carolina in Durham, North Carolina

18 Presenter Contact Information Casey Rawson Katy Vance


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