This Week at READ USA

Multicultural Literacy

READ USA Celebrates Black History Month

  • Read USA Inc.
  • February 9 2023


 As part of our celebration of Black History Month, READ USA is recognizing African Americans who have made a profound impact on our community and nation. With our focus this year on books that fall into the STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics – category, we’ve compiled a list of books that are either about or by prominent African Americans in one or more of these areas.

 Click here to download our list! Please note, this is not a completely comprehensive list – we know there are more out there! If you have any book suggestions we should add, let us know! Email to share the details.

BHM Books

This Saturday: FSCJ Literacy Fair

We hope you will be joining us at the Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Literacy Fair this Saturday, Feb. 11! This FREE event is for the whole family, young and old, to come together and celebrate a love of reading.

 FSCJ Flyer


Children’s Book: Ten Beautiful Things, by Molly Beth Griffin


Illustrated by Maribel Lechuga10BeautifulThings_Large

 Continuing our collection of 2023 Florida Children’s Book Award Finalists K-2nd grade is this treasure of a story about Lily and her Gran. Lily is along for the ride after something happens to warrant a new home for her. Although our author doesn’t disclose the cause for the move, readers can infer that it brought about sadness and discontent for Lily. At first, the storms and grey skies mirror Lily’s anxiety in her sudden need to move from her home. As she travels across the country by car, Lily begins to calm down. As she finds peace, she begins to see the beauty around her. She smells the spring mud promising new life. Lily sees a swan in the cloudy sky above her – a reminder of serenity. And she even sees beauty in a dilapidated barn – a symbol of triumph. This story shows that change is hard, feelings are expected and understood, and beauty is found in everything when you look from another perspective. Lily and her Gran are sure to fill their lives with their own interpretations of beauty, resilience, triumph, and acceptance.

Submitted by Tabetha Cox, Tutoring Program Director

Parent Education Corner: Changing the Home Reading Environment

Parents Can Change the Home Reading Environment Based on Reading Need

A study published by Wiley (, 2016) discusses the findings that parents tend to change the home reading environment based on reading needs of children in the home. Although this sounds like a good thing, what this means is, as a child grows and becomes more independent as a reader, many parents tend to stop offering reading options over time because they don’t know what to offer. The study also found that parents do not know where to find resources, how to match their child up with reading that is a right fit, or even how to start a conversation about reading interests.

We know that young readers show interest in familiar texts, such as: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or Where the Wild Things Are. But what happens when children move away from these types of books? Often the reader, quickly approaching or newly into school age content, demonstrates a more complex need. Many times, parents just don’t know what to do to help. They may feel disconnected or not as familiar with school-age needs. So, as a result, they leave book acquisition up to the schools.

Here are some steps to start that conversation and action in school-aged reading:

First, reacquaint yourself with reading.

If you’ve let reading slide to the margins of your life, now is the time to bring it back. Make the space, and time, for books you read for yourself, and books you read with your child. If you want to raise a reader, be a reader. (Paul and Russo, 2017).

Next, use community offered resources.

Libraries, bookstores, small businesses, and community groups are often laser-focused on age-appropriate reading ideas and practices. Here are some local resources to check out:

Finally, talk to your child’s teacher and media specialist. Teachers and media specialists would LOVE to recommend series and genres your child is sure to devour. Additionally, every Title 1 school in Duval County has a parent resource center, and schools are waiting for you to visit, access, and use these resources.

Submitted by Tabetha Cox, Tutoring Program Director

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