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“Read Like Me” literarcy initiative takes top prize at Accelerate’s 2021 competition

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Sara Kidner is a CMSD principal aiming to enhance literacy and promote instructing as a profession discipline amongst younger Black males

CLEVELAND — Editor’s be aware: the video within the participant above is from a narrative printed on March 2, 2021.

A literacy and function mannequin initiative for younger Black males was voted the profitable pitch by a digital viewers final week on the seventh annual Speed up: Residents Make Change civic pitch competitors offered by the Cleveland Management Middle.

The profitable pitch from Sara Kidner obtained a $5,000 grant for “Learn Like Me.” 

“Learn Like Me” goals to enhance literacy amongst younger Black males and promote instructing as a profession discipline for Black males. 

RELATED: Cleveland literacy program serving to encourage younger Black males by way of studying

As a highschool principal, and a brand new mom, Kidner says her inspiration is twofold.

“‘Learn Like Me’ took place as a result of I used to be working with my son, who’s 15 months outdated, and looking for literacy packages for him,” she mentioned. “And I discovered a whole lot of movies, and everybody within the movies seemed precisely like me. Nobody seemed like him. He is a Black male, as is his father, and it was actually irritating to not have that form of function mannequin for him.”

Kidner’s plan requires highschool college students to change into “reader leaders” who will likely be recruited and skilled to work with elementary college college students in grades 3-5 to enhance their literacy outcomes. 

Kidner, of Cleveland, can be Principal of the John Marshall Faculty of Civic and Enterprise Management within the Cleveland Metropolitan Faculty District.

“I truly interviewed a whole lot of my college students about what they needed to be after they grew up,” Kidner mentioned. “And I spotted none of my male college students in any respect needed to be academics, not to mention Black male college students.”

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RELATED: Making Cleveland a greater place, one thought at a time

Kidner says, curiosity is all about relatability – seeing characters that appear to be them, or share comparable experiences. 

“66 p.c of scholars who’re within the metropolis of Cleveland are Black college students. The scholars we serve, and the people who find themselves serving them ought to be comparable,” Kidner mentioned in her pitch. 

Kidner crafted “Learn Like Me” to assist fill the literacy hole for males of colour. And her expertise at Speed up left her with a push to maintain going.

“Being surrounded by different change-agents is a superb a part of Speed up…. and listening to everybody else’s speeches it actually lets you higher perceive how many individuals are working for change on this metropolis.”

Editor’s be aware: the video within the participant beneath is from a narrative printed on Feb. 22, 2021.

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