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Rise Up & Read!

Rise Up & Read was initiated one year ago by the Harbor School & Carpe Diem Race Equity Focus Group. It was created for children in kindergarten through 5th grade to inspire curiosity, social justice and race equity through cultural literacy and fun. Rise Up & Read book reading events are free to attend and open to the public – all are welcome!

Parent organizers select primarily nonfiction picture books. These are chosen with great care and deliberation, seeking those that are well written, beautifully illustrated and age appropriate. The books introduce topics and people that are typically underrepresented in children’s literature and often address tough and at times uncomfortable concepts. All the books chosen deliver content in a gentle and age appropriate manner. Movement and music are woven into the event to provide an active element to keep the littlest ones engaged. Community members with direct experience to the topic are often invited and encouraged to share personal stories.

Rise Up & Read does not include an open discussion during the hour-long event; the organizers believe the best discussions for this age group take place in a setting where trust has been built with the child - at home or at school with teachers. The goal is to introduce ideas and concepts to children in the context of stories and to encourage questions and discussions beyond the event.

The next Rise Up & Read takes place on Thursday, March 29th, from 4pm to 5pm, at the Vashon Library. The March read aloud will feature stories of heartfelt experiences that challenge gender norms. Past themes have included: Civil Rights, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Women’s History Month, Shogatsu/Japanese New Year, Refugee Experiences, Ramadan, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.