Too many of our youth have had their love of reading
systematically stolen. This trauma enacted on our youth includes a lack of
meaningful representation, high-stakes testing culture, unhealthy fixation on
the “Classics”, and the shaming of students for what they love to read. The
result can be youth who associate reading with pain, insecurity, embarrassment,
and humiliation. Not only is this affecting the academic achievement of our
students, it’s taking away our teens' ability to act powerfully upon the world.
When we damage someone’s language, we are taking away a piece of their
humanity. This work of healing reading trauma is an essential part of
liberatory and anti-racist education. In this session, the facilitators will
share how they are building liberatory reading spaces at their secondary school
libraries where youth are beginning to heal their reading trauma. Specific
tools--including teaching methods, collection development strategies, and
program/policy changes--will be shared.
Presented by Julie Stivers, Teacher Librarian, Mount Vernon Middle School (Raleigh, NC) and Julia Torres, Teacher Librarian, Denver Pubic Schools, Colorado.