District Leaders Invited to Read at Litzsinger
March 3, 2023 - Nearly 30 leaders from across the District took time out of their busy schedules to bring stories to life and read books to students at Litzsinger School during its Leader Reader event. Leader Reader is the culminating event of the school's Black History celebrations organized by the SSD Family Engagement and Equity Leadership (FEEL) team.
“We invited all of the members of the SSD District Leadership Team (DLT), each of the special education directors from the partner districts we serve at Litzsinger, as well as other leaders from various SSD departments, including Family and Community Engagement (FACE), Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA), Curriculum and Instruction, and more,” said Julie Moorman, assistant principal. “We felt that opening our classrooms to leaders around the District and giving them an opportunity not only to read to our students but to hear from them about what they learned throughout Black History Month put an extra layer of importance on Black history and Blackness in our building.”
Teachers picked books they wanted to read to their students from a list specially curated by the school's librarian, Carolyn Eagle. Each book is related to Black history in some capacity. Readers spent approximately 25 minutes reading in two separate classrooms. Brentwood Special Education Director Travena Hostetler read the books “The Other Side,” by Jacqueline Woodson and “Skin Like Mine,” by Latashia M Perry.
“The students were very engaged in what we were reading and knowledgeable about the topics at hand,” said Hostetler. “Some of the books we read shed light on segregation, so we talked about that, and I could view the topic through their eyes. The experience positively impacted me, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the students.”
Other books included “If a Bus Could Talk,” by Faith Ringgold and “Freedom on the Menu,” by Boston Weatherford. This is the first time a Leader Reader event has been held at Litzsinger. School staff hope the event aids in members of the Black community feeling seen, heard, valued, and accepted.
“Overall, the event was a success,” said Moorman. “We plan on surveying our staff and students about the event to assess interests and improvements for a possible repeat of the event next year. For now, we can say that our halls and our hearts were full on the day of our 2023 Black History Month Leader Reader event.”