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Equity-Focused Literacy Leadership in Practice through an American Library Association Collaborative Grant Initiative

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Abstract or Description

The purpose of this American Library Association-funded grant project—“Growing Up Brave on the Margins”— ( was to engage a group of sixth grade students in an urban, public middle school in the Southeastern United States in a thematic reading and discussion series using the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) program model as established by the Great Stories Club. The goal is to explore effects on student development as critical readers, writers, and thinkers (supporting the “National Youth at Risk Conference” “Head” conference strand). The discussions, facilitated by a College of Education Associate Professor of Reading, and a university librarian, with support from a community storyteller, feature books that explore questions of race, equity, identity, and history (supporting the “National Youth at Risk Conference” “Home” conference strand). The school counselor and school media specialist support the logistics of our program implementation. This program is a literacy leadership team that meets at the middle school consistently on a weekly basis. It is considered an honor to be selected to participate in the program and to serve as a school-wide literacy mentor to peers and the local community. Strong character and model citizenship behavior, as noted by their teachers and the middle school counselor, are considered imperative for participation as well as an interest in serving as a literacy leader to members of the school community.


National Youth At-Risk Conference