If you had (quietly, because it was nap time) walked into the Christine W. Avery Learning Center just a few weeks ago you would have seen Hall carrying a large stack of children's books all titled, “Black Boy, Black Boy.” As the young students woke up from their naps, they were greeted by the author of “Black Boy, Black Boy,” who was the local leader and lawyer Jorge Redman. In collaboration with Christine W. Avery Learning Center, Read to Succeed organized Redman’s visit to several classrooms. The children, ranging from 5 to 12 years old, were visibly excited as their guest author sat down and began to read the book he had written.
Hall watched over the classroom along with other staff from the Learning Center, smiling as the students shared their thoughts with Mr. Redman. The children’s book showcases various famous leaders, all Black men. His goal was simple yet powerful; to expose young Black boys and girls to a wider variety of careers than they may have known. Hall understands the importance of exposing young students to new ideas through literature and has a comprehensive knowledge of the community partnerships that must occur to reach youth literacy proficiency. “Just being present in the building,” said Hall, “it’s about being in the community and training other people to be ready to serve; it’s the ripple effect.”
Although Hall rightfully notes that Read to Succed’s work is impossible without a trusting and trauma-informed community base, Shaunda Jackson of the Edington Center emphasizes the importance of having organizations and leaders like Read to Succeed working to “make equity with the programs that we have and impacting the people who live in the communities we want to impact.”