Love for Literacy seeks to shine a light on the importance of black family literacy experiences and its role in literacy development in children. Additionally, we provide opportunities to create "mirrors" for black children and families by writing their own family stories.
"If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it."
To embrace the love for literacy in black children by providing families with a variety of opportunities to engage in, and celebrate their own literacy practices.
Every black child sees themselves as competent learners, producers, and agents of literacy.
How do we do this?
- Expose black children to literature that is reflective of them and their lived experiences.
- Broaden the way we think about literacy by uncovering the ways children and families use literacy every day and introduce new ways of exploring literacy.
- Develop positive experiences around literacy for black children, experiences that include and value their individual strengths.
About the President
Dr. Kelly Byrd
Dr. Kelly M. Byrd received her doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in December 2015. Her dissertation entitled, Generations: A Tapestry of Literacy Traditions in an African-American Family, challenged the dominant constructions of literacy in the schools, but ultimately illustrated the invaluable ways in which African-American families define, talk about, pass down and enact literacy practices.
That line of research, personal experiences and inclination towards family literacy led her to create Love for Literacy. A program that seeks to shine a light on the importance of black family literacy experiences and its role in literacy development in children. The program does this by providing opportunities for families to participate in a wide variety of literacy activities including creating "mirrors" for black children and families by sharing, writing and possibly publishing their own family stories. The vision of Love for Literacy is that by building on those personal, family literacy experiences that ‘every black child sees themselves as competent learners, producers, and agents of literacy’.
As a practicing certified Speech Language Pathologist, family literacy scholar and community advocate for high-lighting African-American family literacy experiences; Dr. Kelly M. Byrd is channeling her creative nature by sharing her own childhood stories. Her first published children’s book, Like Sunshine On an Otherwise Miserable Day, will be available March 2019.
As a budding and progressive voice in the area of family literacy; Kelly hopes that her work serves a foundational piece to understanding and acknowledging of a legacy of black family literacy experiences. But most importantly, she desires that her career dream is actualized by having a facility that houses the family stories, provides a space for literacy programming that offers a multitude of opportunities for black children to be brought to the literacy table; where their literacy skills can be nourished and valued.
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Why our work is important
A few great resources and articles about black family literacy:
- Blog Post: "Why My Sweet Valley Twins Were Two Pretty Black Girls"
- Book List: 10 Picture Books That Are Not About Oppression
- Having books that are mirrors for our children is necessary!
- 8 MORE Black Picture Books That Aren’t About Boycotts, Buses or Basketball
- 12 Books Featuring Black Fathers (For All Ages)
Contact Kelly Byrd if you are interested in purchasing your #blackliteracymatters or #familyliteracymatters shirt.