Today begins National Reading Month. In anticipation of all the fabulous literacy activities kicking off throughout the Kalamazoo Public Schools, Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo (CIS) staff once again prepare by asking each other: What are you reading?
Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick.
-Deondra Ramsey, CIS After School Site Coordinator at Washington Writers’ Academy
I am reading the Mindful Manifesto by Jonty Heaversedge and Ed Halliwell and I love it!
-Missy Best, Site Coach & Mentor
I am currently reading From Babylon to Timbuktu- A History of Ancient Black Races Including The Black Hebrews, written by Rudolph R. Windsor.
-Montrell Baker, CIS Site Coordinator, Loy Norrix High School
I just finished Memory For Forgetfulness, by Mahmoud Darwish, which is a poetic account of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Beirut. I’m now reading Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin and How The Irish Became White, by Noel Ignatiev.
-Kaitlin Martin, Volunteer Services Coordinator
I just finished Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, which is a case study and research summarization of how people are dating now that technology is involved. I laughed out loud on every page. Everyone on my flight on Tuesday morning thought I was crazy. Now I am going to start reading Sick In The Head by Judd Apatow.
-Elyse Brey, Director of Elementary Sites
Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel.
-Keely Novotny, CIS Site Coordinator, Edison Environmental Science Academy
I am reading the first volume of a collection of graphic novels by Jaime Hernandez entitled Love and Rockets. Very fun!
-Katherine Williams, CIS After School Coordinator, Hillside Middle School
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
-Stephen Brewer, AmeriCorps VISTA, Edison Environmental Science Academy
I am reading…Tales of a Female Nomad Living at Large in the World by Rita Gelman and We Need New Names by No Violet Bulawayo. Here’s to Good Reads….
-Lauren Longwell, AmeriCorps VISTA Lead
I am reading In a Rocket Made of Ice by Gail Gutradt. It’s about Gail’s volunteer experience at my uncles orphanage in Cambodia.
-Terra Mosqueda, AmeriCorps VISTA, Loy Norrix High School & Hillside Middle School
I just finished M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A. Through narratively linked poems, A. Van Jordan tells the story of MacNolia Cox. She won the 1936 Akron, Ohio Spelling Bee and then became the first African American to reach the final rounds in the national competition. It’s beautifully written and reads like a play. Now onto reading Nora Webster by Colm Tóibin.
-Jennifer Clark, Special Projects & Initiatives
I am currently reading The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Stacy Schiff. It is a psychologically thrilling nonfiction account that is rather dense with facts and light on sensationalism. In other words, readers really have to commit, but the payoff has been well worth it.
-Carly Denny, CIS Site Coordinator, Prairie Ridge Elementary
The book I currently started dissecting again is The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness written by Michelle Alexander; a former director of the Racial Justice Project at the ACLU of Northern California and past director of the Civil Rights Clinic at Stanford Law School. The New Jim Crow is about the US prison system, its rise to have one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, and how, when systems are created, the social views those systems are predicated on can play a huge role in the systems operation.
Sure to polarize people to one side or another of an already controversial topic, this book is great at inspiring critical reflection on one of Modern America’s major topics!
-Nathaniel Wolfe Easlick, CIS After School Program Coordinator, Milwood Elementary
I’m currently reading and listening to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness. This book details Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program, which in many ways, forms the foundation of mindfulness practices in the United States. I’m also reading The Whole Brain Child, by Dan Siegel, which offers specific strategies for helping kids to integrate the various parts of their brain to help them manage socially and emotionally.
-Deb Faling, Director of Social Emotional Health Initiatives
I am currently reading: The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson. A wonderful science fiction classic that deals with computer programming, nano-technology, and the limits of artificial intelligence.
Re-reading: Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most Out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward M. Hallowell, John J. Ratey. A fantastic strength’s based model and, in my opinion, a great read for both those with ADHD and those who work with or love those with ADHD.
Also, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is my book club read this month. A fun read so far, it also has poignant themes about the treatment of people living in elder care communities.
-Ellie Galas, CIS Site Coordinator, Linden Grove Middle School
I just finished The Wright Brothers and am currently reading two books: Connection Culture by Michael Lee Stallard and Desire Lines by Christina Baker Kline, the author of Orphan Train (the community read this year).
-Mary Oudsema, Special Projects
I’m currently reading The Walking Dead Compendium Vol. 3 by Charlie Adlard and Robert Kirkman. It’s a collection of the graphic novels that the television show is based on. If you like the show, you’ll love the graphic novels – they’re amazing!
-Donielle Hetrick, CIS After School Coordinator, Woods Lake Elementary: A Magnet Center for the Arts
I have been reading a lot of articles lately on trauma-centered approaches to working with youth as well as other research papers on program design. But, I am about to crack into two books, Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males and Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Young Women both by Freeman A. Hrambowski, III, Kenneth L. Maton and Geoffrey L. Greif. Mr. Hrambowski was a keynote speaker at the National Summer Learning Associations training in October in Baltimore.
My book club, The Lovely Ladies of Literature, is voting in a little over a week on our next read.
-Artrella Cohn, Director of Secondary Sites
I am currently reading The Girl from the Tar Paper School by Teri Kanefield.
-Tamiko Garrett, Site Coordinator, Milwood Magnet School