School administrators invited 40 professional African American men to conduct an inspirational assembly on Nov. 4 for McClymonds boys to talk about the lack of literacy among the African American community especially among males as part of the school’s campaign “In The West We Read.” A similar program for girls will be held Jan. 7.
“An unacceptable amount of black men are behind in reading by the second grade,” said Franklin Hysten, director of Alternatives in Action.
Among the panel of professionals were Principal Kevin Taylor and Chris Chatmon-OUSD’s executive officer of African-American Male Achievement. 125 black males attended the event.
The exclusive black male event was the brainchild of Principal Taylor, who earlier this year emphasized reading and writing across the curriculum.
The assembly separated the audience into two groups and read the motivational book by Spencer Johnson “Who Moved My Cheese?”
“It’s especially important to have men read to younger men because most don’t have a memory or experience of someone reading to them,” said Hysten.
“I liked that they took their time out to come and read to us,” said Jackson.
The event focused on boys first because of the lack of Black male role models who are involved in the education of youth.
“African American boys are behind girls in maturity and academics,” commented Hysten.
Next month, McClymonds plans to conduct a girl version – in the west we read for girls.