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Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

GRAB THE MIC Resources

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For his term as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Reynolds will tour small towns across America to have meaningful discussions with young people. Through his platform, “GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story,” Reynolds, who regularly talks about his journey from reluctant reader to award-winning author, will direct his focus as ambassador by listening to students and empowering them to share their own personal stories.

During each event, Reynolds discusses his role and talks to two “student ambassadors”—each student asks questions of Reynolds, and is asked questions by Reynolds in return. Throughout each visit Reynolds demonstrates ways students may harness their stories and step into their own voices.

Participating schools receive a special welcome message from Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, a free copy of Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, and complementary resources including a downloadable educator guide for both middle and high school students External:

Entirely new in 2022, Reynolds will expand his commitment to rural communities by partnering with publisher Short Edition External to bring their innovative Short Story Cubes External to select participating schools. The Short Story Cube is a portable, stand-alone device that allows students to create, edit and print stories of their own making.

Short Story Cubes are specifically designed for classroom use and offer educators a fun, immersive way to inspire creative thinking and analysis. Each Cube is also connected to the Short Story Portal External, a pre-licensed platform that gives teachers access to contemporary, age appropriate classic and/or themed short fiction. The Portal is also an online creative writing engine, enabling self-publication in the classroom. These tools help students learn to read for pleasure and encourage students to experiment telling their own stories, all while exploring the editing process. Ultimately, students will be able to, at the push of a button, experience the joy and pride of publishing a personal story they may share with their peers and community members.

 

Child uses the Short Story Cube and reads a three-minute short story. 2022. Photo courtesy of Short Edition.

For schools that wish to be considered for Reynolds’s Fall 2022 GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story tour and receive an innovative Short Story Cube in their school, proposals will be accepted now through Friday, May 20. All proposals that were submitted for the Spring 2022 tour will also be considered for fall events. To submit a proposal, please visit everychildareader.net/ambassador External.

GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story Tour Stops

To understand the full scope and impact of Reynolds’s GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story tour, see the correlating stops see below. Reynolds’s tour will conclude in the Fall/Winter of 2022.

In December 2020, Reynolds made seven virtual appearances, connecting with students from 11 distinct schools. These schools were selected from almost 200 proposals received in Spring 2020.

  • J.W. Eater Junior High School, Rantoul, Illinois
  • Leland Middle School and Leland High School, Leland, Mississippi
  • Live Oak Middle School, Denham Springs, Louisiana
  • Red Cloud Schools, Pine Ridge, South Dakota
  • Sage Valley Junior High School and Twin Spruce Junior High School, Gillette, Wyoming
  • Stratton Elementary School and Park Middle School, Beckley, West Virginia
  • Swansea High Freshman Academy and Swansea High School, Swansea, South Carolina

In April 2021, Reynolds made eight virtual GRAB THE MIC visits to the below schools. These schools were selected from almost 250 proposals received in early Winter 2021.

  • Noble Middle School, North Berwick, Maine
  • Castle Heights Elementary,Price, Utah
  • Neosho Junior High School and Neosho High School, Neosho, Missouri
  • George Washington Elementary and Keokuk Middle School, Keokuk, Iowa
  • Methow Valley District School, Winthrop, Washington
  • Gordo High School and Pickens County High School, Gordo, Alabama
  • Coalinga Middle School, Coalinga, California
  • North Education Center School, New Hope, Minnesota

In December 2021, Reynolds embarked on a third and final virtual tour as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. These schools were selected from more than 200 proposals received in late Spring 2021.

  • Bald Eagle Area High School, Wingate, Pennsylvania
  • Bronson Jr./Sr. High School, Bronson, Michigan
  • ESSDACK, McPherson, Kansas
  • Gowanda Central Schools, Gowanda, New York
  • Johnson High School, Laredo, Texas
  • Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District, Los Fresnos, Texas
  • Marshall High School, Marshall, Wisconsin
  • Yamhill Carlton School District, Yamhill, Oregon

In May 2022, Reynolds will begin his first in-person leg of his tour as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. These schools were selected from more than 200 proposals received in late Winter 2021.

  • Dutton/Brady Junior High and High School, Dutton, Montana
  • Ronan Middle School and High School, Ronan, Montana
  • Shields Valley Schools, Clyde Park and Wilsall, Montana

When Reynolds is not on the road, he still wants to speak with you—the public—as National Ambassador. To that end, Jason encourages you to check out his "Write. Right. Rite." video series and his "GRAB THE MIC Newsletter" blog series. In these discrete efforts, Reynolds shares his passion for storytelling while discussing topics like creativity, connection, and imagination.

Make sure to tune in here and follow along with National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds as he travels all over the internet and country!