D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy invites guest readers for its Black History Month read-in

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A local school is inviting community members to sit down and read books to students during Black History Month.

 D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy, a K-8 year-round public school opened by UNCW, is honoring of Black History Month, with guest readers sharing stories with students by Black authors and illustrators every school day this month.

This is DC Virgo’s 4th year holding the read-in. guest readers can appear in-person, or they can read to students virtually via Zoom or in a pre-recorded video.

On Monday, February 6, UNCW sophomore Sydney Thaxton read a book to 3rd grade students.

Thaxton says she enjoys lending a helping hand at schools in the area, and works with communities in schools as an after school teacher. In addition, she says her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, along with other organizations in UNCW’s National Pan-Hellenic Council visit D.C. Virgo tutoring students.

Thaxton says her passion is community outreach, and she appreciates the opportunity to connect with students by reading to them during Black History Month.

“In some ways it validated my passion in seeing how the book, –even though it was kind of like kiddie and like fun and stuff, the kids actually retained information, the message was to push through and they were really interactive and enthusiastic about the book,” said Sydney Thaxton, UNCW Sophomore.

Thaxton read a book, written and illustrated by two Black women, to 3rd grade students.

D.C. Virgo’s current student population is 91% Black,  and 5% two or more races. Thaxton said she believes events like D.C. Virgo’s Black History Month read-in will have a positive impact on students.

“Despite whatever book, I think it’s more important that minority students are seeing readers that look like them, and I have kind of learned that being in classrooms and stuff that they also retain well from teachers who look like them,” said Thaxton. “So, I think it had a big impact on them, but also in a sense that ‘oh, this is written by someone who looks like my mom, or someone who looks like my dad'”.

Guest readers of various backgrounds are coming in to read to students in each grade at the school.

“We’re all about meeting our students and our families where they are, and showing them all of the possibilities available to them in the world. So, I think it’s really important that they see their community is coming in and sees that this is important for them to take the time to read to them and also to reflect their culture back to them,” said Jodi Hebert, D.C. Virgo operations coordinator and liaison.

D.C. Virgo has officially booked guest readers for every school day this month. School staff says they’re thankful for the communities support in the event.

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