Rebecca Edwards is the Librarian at CUES, and we also serve together as Friends of the Martin Luther King Jr Branch of the Oakland Public Library.
Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in the Latino Read-In, an annual event (there are also African-American and Asian Read-ins, and I'm already scheduled for the African American one in February) focused on having guest readers visit OUSD classrooms to read to kids, usually a book that is culturally or historically relevant.
I read to a 5th grade class at Community United Elementary School (5th grade is my favorite age) a book called Separate is Never Equal, about an important civil rights case for the Latino community, concerning discriminatory student assignment practices in Southern California. It's by Duncan Tonatiuh.
As you can see, the kids were totally engaged and had lots of questions - deep questions! About racism, history, whether I liked serving on the School Board, and more. It was so much fun, and I'm looking forward to reading again in February.
When the student asked if I like my job on the School Board, I said that if I got to read aloud to students every day, it would be a lot more fun.
If you have not participated in one the read-ins, I encourage you to volunteer. The next one will be the first week of February, and you can sign up with the Oakland Public Education Fund.