Friday, December 5, 2014

BHS Read-a-thon for #Ferguson Public Library - Please Join in!

This post first appeared on the BHS English Website

On December 15, BHS is hosting a Read-a-thon to raise funds for the Ferguson Public Library, which has become a safe haven in a time of crisis for the residents of Ferguson. In a recent edition of All Things Considered on NPR, the library’s director, Scott Bonner, points out how the library has been able to use the recent influx of funds to create and distribute “healing kits” – packages with children’s books and stuffed animals for the children of Ferguson – and how he hopes to raise enough money to add another permanent member to the library’s staff to help with the increase of traffic the library has seen over the past months.

The Ferguson Library is, in short, exactly what a library ought to be – a place where people can relax, find peace, and discover a great new book.

The sign on the circulation desk at the Ferguson Public Library
The sign on the circulation desk at the Ferguson Public Library
The Ferguson Library has recently received support from authors Neil Gaiman and John Green, who was inspired by Bonner’s recent AMA (Ask Me Anything) appearance on Reddit, and has donated autographed copies of all of his books to the library.

We love reading, and we love libraries, so we’d like to help out as well. Burlington High School is holding a Read-a-thon to support the public library in Ferguson. Students are collecting sponsors to support them in their pledge to read for a 45-minute period during a study hall, before school, or after school on Monday, December 15, 2014. All money will be collected on the day of the Read-a-thon, and all students are invited to participate. Please make checks out to BHS English Department.
To sponsor a student for 5 cents per minute adds up to a mere $2.25, and a dime a minute ends up being $4.50. Of course, any amount is appreciated.

Students, faculty and staff who are participating will use the BHS Library as their quiet reading space, and students are free to go to the library during their study hall. We will also provide treats for the readers, because the only thing that can possibly make reading any better is reading with treats. We will also have options available both before and after school for students who do not have a free period on the 15th.

If you wish to participate from outside of BHS, all you have to do is dedicate 45 minutes of your day to reading, and then if you wish to contribute your own pledge to help raise funds for the Ferguson Library, CLICK HERE (then click on the box in the upper-right corner) – any amount is appreciated.

You can also bring your donation into Burlington High on the 15th and leave it in the main office. If you wish to round up pledges from outside of BHS, Readathon – Student Form

Participants are encouraged to take a photograph of the book that they are reading, and post the picture on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag:#BurlingtonReads4FergusonLibrary

*Special thanks to Mrs. Crossman, who came up with this idea, and has been invaluable in its organization!*

1.Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples
2. “The Danger of a Single Story” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, TedTalk  transcript
3. Constructing a Conversation about Race by Charles M. Blow – New York Times
4. Letter from a Birmingham Jail - Martin Luther King
5. On Ferguson, Missouri: History, Protest, and “Respectability” - Clarence Lang, Labor and Working Class History Association Blog
6. Learning from the Sixties - Audre Lorde (1982)
7. “Ferguson Killing Inspires Young Black Activists” - Fredericka Boswell for NPR
8. “A Talk to Teachers” by James Baldwin

9. Black Kids Don’t Have to Be College-Bound for Their Deaths to be Tragic by Jasmine Banks
10. “Helping Students Make Sense of a Young Black Man’s Death in Missouri” by Juana Summers
11. “‘If They Gunned Me Down’ What Photo Would They Use’” by Bill Chappell for NPR
12. “The Mindless Menace of Violence” - Robert F. Kennedy speech 1968 (audio of the speech here)
13. I, Too by Langston Hughes
14. Bill Moyers Show – Maya Angelou on Facing Evil (transcript included)
15. We Wear the Mask - Paul Laurence Dunbar

We hope you can join us on this worthy cause!

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