ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – It’s not often you get to hear an author read their own book, but that’s exactly what happened for 2nd graders at Gage Elementary Friday.
Dr. Artika Tyner read her book, “Justice Makes a Difference: Miss Freedom Fighter, Esquire.” to wrap up the “DC Mangum Literacy Festival.”
The event is put on at Gage and Riverside elementary schools by Betty Hutchins who does it to honor her late friend “Mangum” who valued literacy and education for all children.
The 2nd graders watched eagerly as Dr. Tyner wore a red cape much like the main character in the book, that character is actually her.
In the book, the kids learned about people like as Ida B. Wells an investigative journalist, and famous musician Paul Robeson.
Dr. Tyner, an attorney, says the low literacy levels in her clients are what prompted her to become an author to spark interest in children to read more.
I think we have gotten to comfortable with the data and we haven’t gotten uncomfortable with creating new pathways to success and to educational obtainment,” said Tyner. “For me it was an answer to a problem and a solution by being the change that I wanted to see by creating books to inspire young people.”
Dr. Tyner says it is crucial to see children excited about reading and her collaboration with DC Mangum to close out the event is extraordinary as they are both trying to make a difference in children’s lives.
Betty Hutchins, a member of the “DC Mangum Literacy Festival said the festival starts up in February includes a book donation, a literacy festival, and ends with an author reading.
Another part of the festival includes a book collection for the students, “We allow each student to choose up to ten books so that they can have those books to read over the summer to prevent summer learning loss.” This year alone 3,700 books were collected and given away to students.
At the end of book reading each child was able to leave with a copy of Dr. Tyner’s book.