Jefferson Primary School is celebrating Black History Month with a variety of activities. The current Big Read is author Pamela Tucker’s highly regarded book, “As Fast As Words Could Fly.”
Winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, “As Fast As Words Could Fly” is an “inspiring testament to the power of hard work, determination, and belief in yourself to overcome life’s challenges,” according to an online preview.
Jefferson’s Book of the Month is author Andrea J. Loney’s “Double Bass Blues,” which is illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez.
Jefferson Principal Valerie Capitulo-Saide is spearheading the Black History Month initiative. “A Big Read is an opportunity for all students and families to read and talk about the same story,” she said. “The story this month is available online in Nearpod, which can be connected to through each student’s Clever page on Chromebooks from school or by going to https://nearpod.com/ and entering code CF5YH. Use your full name to join the lesson. It will be available through February 28.”
Students are enjoying “As Fast As Words Could Fly” and having fun discussing it with each other.
“Young Mason Steele takes pride in turning his father’s excited ramblings about the latest civil rights incidents into handwritten business letters,” according to a brief online summary of the book. “One day Pa comes home with a gift from his civil rights group: a typewriter. Thrilled with the present, Mason spends all his spare time teaching himself to type. Soon he knows where every letter on the keyboard is located. When the civil rights group wins a school desegregation case, Mason learns that now he will be attending a formerly all-white high school. Despite his fears and injustice from the students and faculty, Mason perseveres. He does well in school, especially in his typing class. And when he competes in the county typing tournament, Mason decides to take a stand, using his skills to triumph over prejudice and break racial barriers.”
The Book of the Month is equally popular as students explore “Double Bass Blues” and enjoy the artwork throughout it, too.
“Nic is an aspiring musician whose life spans two different worlds; his suburban school where he wows his friends in orchestra and the busy city streets of his home where he’s jostled by the crowd,” according to an Amazon plot summary. “Nic makes his way home from a busy day at school with a double bass on his back, the symphony of his surroundings in his heart, and a sweet surprise for the reader at the end of his journey. This is a sweet, melodious picture book about how dedication, music and family can overcome any obstacle.”
Famous African Americans are also being highlighting each day at Jefferson. The first week of Black History Month saw creator of historical story quilts Faith Ringgold, physician and astronaut Mae Jemison, former President Barack Obama, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr, and scientist and educator George Washington Carver profiled.
It’s a big month at Jefferson School with plenty of interesting learning opportunities for everyone.