Ironically Valentines Day and awareness of Black History are both in the month of February. Author Eloise Greenfield penned a poem titled “Honey, I Love” one of founder Cynthia Turnquest-Jones favorite poem to recite in the company of little readers. [excerpt below]
I love a lot of things
A whole lot of things
I love ME, too
Tha Brown Urban Mother Partners, Inc. continued to give out books provided by Disney Publishing Worldwide as treats to little readers. This is a great way to increase their interest and intentionally create a literacy culture in communities. Our homes are the perfect setting to create a library. Parents intentionally building a scholar attitude towards printed pages is a step towards developing a habit of informational hunting. Exposing little readers to text at a young age guides them to use books intelligently.
The vision for the month of February was to combine Valentines Day and awareness of Black History through literacy. Tha B.U.M.P partnered with various community advocates who are hungry to spread “Nuthin’ But Love”. The title is inspired by the late rapper Heavy D’ also know as the Overweight Lover who penned a couple of hits about love including “Now That We Found Love”, The Overweight Lover’s In The House and “Nuttin But Love” in 2000. Heavy D was born Dwight Errington Myers in Mandeville, Jamaica in 1967 and moved with his family to Mount Vernon, New York. He discovered rap music at its inception, and by junior high was making his own demo tapes. He formed the Boyz with high-school friends. Their demo tape reached Def Jam executive Andre Harrell, who was in the process of forming his own label, Uptown.
The first stop was Friendship for TOTS Childcare Facility with founder Bishop Edwars who welcomed Author Annie Turnquest once again to distribute with love, over 50 books and “yummie” treats.
Books, Badges and Beverages was the next stop on the Nuthin’ But Love train. Joined with Detective David Clarke and Detective Montika Jones of Mount Vernon Police Department. Tha B.U.M.P collaborated with both detectives co-sponsoring the event. This time they partnered with the Greenburgh Police Department and Dunkin Dounuts located on Tarrytown Road, White Plains, NY. over 60 books were distributed and donuts were free to enjoy while reading.
Nuthin’ But Love Day was held at Cupcake Cutie Boutique with owners Miesha Stokley and Detective Montika Jones. Detective David Clarke was also a part of the love. Over 25 books and art kits were provided to the community of Mount Vernon, New York. Chelsea’s Charity provided the art kits.
Chelsea’s Charity is a unique charity. In the Summer of 2019 Chelsea Phaire’s was turning 10. She wasn’t interested in gifts. She asked her guests to bring art supplies instead. Crayons, markers, paper and colored pencils turning into forty kits which she then delivered to a New York homeless shelter. These happy faces created a want for Chelsea to do more.
Then, March 2020 hit with the Coronavirus pandemic. A family meeting was held and the understanding that the need for more art kits should be considered. These kits are arriving across state lines. These kits by Chelsea’s Charity were provided for the Nuthin’ But Love Day. Chelsea’s Charity is an organization aimed at providing art supplies to children, particularly those who have endured hardship and trauma in their young lives.
The last stop in the love tour will be at the Boys & Girls Club of America, Mount Vernon Teen Club. The “Mount Vernon Reads” Literacy Box. The goal is to distribute 20 learning book boxes to the Teen Club. Sandhya Subbarao, Teen Coordinator, Cynthia Turnquest-Jones, Tha Brown Urban Mother Partners, Inc., and Nathalie Riobe, For Our Kids NY, Inc., collaborated to build a box that will continue to incite teens to read. A unique social media assignment was added. We decided that we do not want to dismiss their love for their phone and have included aspects of social media into their reading journey.
Featured book “Betty Before X” written by Ilyasah Shabazz. This awesome book is written by Dr. Betty Shabazz daughter, who’s family also resided in Mount Vernon from 1965-1997. “Betty Before X” is about Betty Shabazz before she became the wife of Malcolm X.
Teen readers will be able to annotate text with tools provided in the learning box. Annotations is a key tool for close reading that helps you uncover patterns, notice important words, and identify main points. An active learning strategy that improves comprehension and retention of information. In addition, a complimentary February 2021 issue of Black Westchester Magazine is also included.
Contact Sandhya Subbarao for future inquiries about your teenager joining the Boys & Girls Club of America in Mount Vernon located on 350 South 6th Avenue 914.668.9580.
Giving out books as treats to little readers is a great way to increase interest & intentionally create a literacy culture in our community.
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