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:
In 2022, Reynolds expanded 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.
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!
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 GRAB THE MIC appearances, connecting with students from 11 distinct schools. These schools were selected from almost 200 proposals received in Spring 2020.
In April 2021, Reynolds made eight virtual GRAB THE MIC appearances to the below schools. These schools were selected from almost 250 proposals received in early Winter 2021.
In December 2021, Reynolds embarked on a third and final GRAB THE MIC virtual tour as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. These schools were selected from more than 200 proposals received in late Spring 2021.
In May 2022, Reynolds held the first in-person leg of his GRAB THE MIC tour. These schools were selected from more than 200 proposals received in late Winter 2021.
In September 2022, Reynolds held the second in-person leg of his GRAB THE MIC tour. These schools were selected from proposals received in late Winter 2021.
In October 2022, Reynolds held the final leg of his in-person GRAB THE MIC tour as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. These schools were selected from proposals received in late Winter 2021.