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Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

GRAB THE MIC Resources


For his two-year 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 Dr. 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:

During the first two weeks of December 2020, Reynolds made seven separate virtual appearances, connecting with students from eleven 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 January 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 will embark on a third virtual tour as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. These schools were selected from more than 200+ proposals received in April 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

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 video series titled "Write. Right. Rite." and his blog series titled "GRAB THE MIC Newsletter" here. 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!