The need for quality literacy education is strong, particularly for certain underserved populations. One group in critical need of improved literacy instruction is African American males. According to the National Association for Educational Progress 2011 Report Card, only 14% of African American 4th and 8th graders performed at or above the proficient level on national reading tests in 2011 and males scored 9 points lower on average than females. This webinar will explore the role of the education community, including librarians, in: 1) closing the literacy achievement gap, 2) nurturing the resolve of African American male youth, helping them reconcile their different identities, and reimagine their place in the world, and 3) enabling African American male youth to take action in their own lives and in their communities.
Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Ph.D., is a professor and coordinator of the School Library Media Program in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her current research she focuses on social justice issues in youth library services and the role of school library media specialists in education reform. She teaches courses in services to diverse youth populations, materials for young adults, and the development of school library media programs.
Amanda Hitson is a graduate student and research assistant at the School of Information and Library Science of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She will graduate with a Master of Library Science degree in May of 2013 and hopes to begin working as a school library media specialist the following school year. Her research has primarily focused on the literacy of African American male youth and multimodal forms of storytelling.