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2009 African American Read-In: Fast Facts


An invitation — Join us for DCCCD’s 10th African American Read-In on Saturday, Jan. 31, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas. The event is free and open to the general public; seating is limited, so come early! Families and children age 8 or older are particularly welcome.

Special guests — Author and motivational speaker Lisa Nichols, who participated in the 2005 Dallas African American Read-In; and Dallas resident and award-winning film/television actress Irma P. Hall, who participated in the second read-in.

Program features — Reflecting on and celebrating the 10-year history of DCCCD’s Dallas African American Read-In is the focus of this year’s program and the title of the original production written by Anyika McMillan-Herod and directed by Monique Ridge-Williams: Say It Loud: “I Read and I’m Proud!” The program also will present a variety of performances by the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, David Carr, Christopher Silverberg, Richmond Punch, David Ratcliff, Cynthia Dorn Navarrette, Je’Mone Smith and others. The program emcee is performance artist and media producer Catherine Whiteman, and children again will enjoy seeing Lyndale the Literary Lion!

An award-winning event — DCCCD’s African-American Read-In, endorsed by the International Reading Association, received the 2005 James Patterson PageTurner Award, a first-year national award for nominated literacy projects started by Patterson, an author and New York Times writer.

A model program — DCCCD’s citywide African American Read-In is a national model for other literacy program events and has created several literacy initiatives, including the George Dawson Literacy Awareness Campaign. Through the Dawson campaign, George Dawson “Hold Fast to Dreams” scholarships are awarded annually to DCCCD students from the United States and other countries. The late George Dawson, a former south Dallas resident who learned to read at age 98 and wrote his autobiography (“Life Is So Good”), is the read-in’s literacy hero.

Partners and sponsors — K104-FM, KRNB-FM, KKDA-AM, The (Dallas) Weekly, Dallas Morning News, Downtown Business News,, McDonald’s, Comerica Bank, City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Dr Pepper Snapple, Dallas Children’s Theater, Harlem Book Fair, Holt McDougal, Scholastic, Highlights for Children, Dallas Public Library, Jokae’s African American Books, Millennium Motor Cars and the National Council of Teachers of English Black Caucus.

Community read-ins — The DCCCD read-in helps kick off Black History Month and encourages other groups in the community to hold their own events and to report back how many people participate. More than 35,000 Dallas-linked readers (students, organizations, families, book clubs and others) were documented in 2005; the Dallas citywide read-in goal is 10,000.

Volunteers — In addition to the work of scores of DCCCD employees, more than 90 percent of the people who help stage the DCCCD annual read-in are volunteers; they are corporate professionals, stay-at-home moms, educators, local professional performance artists, published writers and community activists. Volunteers of all races support and serve the read-in; more than 85 percent of those volunteers return the following year to renew their commitment to literacy.