LWSD student book drive diversifies classroom literature

LWSD student book drive diversifies classroom literature

Two students hosted a story time event followed by a successful book drive through a nonprofit called “Brown Kids Read.” Kisa Dupe, a senior from Redmond High School (RHS), and Kennedy Roberts, a junior from Tesla STEM High School, joined forces to diversify literature for elementary readers at Horace Mann Elementary.

“So far, we have collected 297 books and we donated 217 of them to students at Horace Mann Elementary,” said Dupe and Kennedy. “We plan to donate the remaining books to students within the Seattle community at the Northwest African American Museum.”

Both Kisa and Kennedy are contestants in the Miss HBCU Teen Scholarship pageant organization. Kisa is 2023-24 Miss Washington Teen. Kennedy is 2023-24 Miss Washington Junior Teen. The pageant provides scholarships, resources and support to high school girls of color planning to attend historically Black colleges and universities.

During story time at Mann Elementary, Kisa and Kennedy read from a book titled “The Power of Passion” by Ssanya Lukoma., “Students continued the conversations in their classrooms about ways to make the world a better place and how each of us can be agents of change,” Shannon Leonard, the school’s librarian, said after the reading. “Kisa and Kennedy were wonderful examples of this by sharing this beautiful story.”

“The students were beyond thrilled to receive the diverse books,” Edith Brumant, principal at Mann Elementary, said. “It is important for students to see themselves reflected in literature in meaningful ways and be exposed to perspectives that may be different from their own. What Kisa and Kennedy have achieved through their book drive has added to the diversification of our main library, classroom collections and personal home libraries. This act of community service shows great care for students and is sure to have a lasting, positive impact.”

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