I’ve been meaning to write about this for the last two months, but hadn’t gotten the chance to upload the video!  Back in February our 1st graders were able to participate in The University of Northern Iowa’s African American Read In, where students get to listen to stories about African Americans and African cultures.  Our 1st graders, along with 1st graders from all over the area came and participated in several different seminars.  Since I work mostly with 1st graders I was able to be one of the chaperones for the field trip.

IMG_6202My personal favorite was our session with author and musician Shane Evans.  He incorporated music into his presentation and did a looping song with our kids.  It was a lot of fun.  He even got our kids up and dancing and really ingrained the message that you can and should follow your dreams.  You can locate his books on Amazon or from his webpages: http://www.olusdream.com or http://www.oluizumz.com  Enjoy the following video of the looping.  I wish I would have gotten more, but my phone was out of space and stopped videoing.

IMG_6189IMG_6193Another session our kids attended was one with UNI students.  One student read Langston Hughes’ My People, with photographs by Charles R. Smith, Jr.  The kids then were asked to cut out photographs from magazines of who they thought were “their people” and who they associated with.  This was a little tricky for our kids as a lot of them just cut out people or pictures they liked.

We were able to listen to the dean of UNI’s COE read us a story as well as listen to an African Folktale Storyteller.  The kids loved her silly voices and were very engaged.  We had another session with an African Folktale Storyteller who used the art of dance to help tell her story.  She got all of us up and dancing along with her.  It was a lot of fun.

IMG_6198And of course, we can’t forget our lunch because TC came and visited us!!  Poor TC!  We were VERY excited to see him and the kids swarmed him.  I don’t know that he’s ever gotten as many hugs and what he received from the kids at Lowell.

It was great for our students to be read to and be exposed to different kinds of literature and stories.  It was a jammed pack day full of reading, dancing, singing, and fun!  We’re so fortunate to have UNI right in our back yard to provide our kids with great learning opportunities like this!