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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 the first two weeks of December 2020, Reynolds made seven separate virtual appearances, connecting with students from eleven distinct schools. In each virtual event, Reynolds discussed his role and talked to two “student ambassadors”—each student asked questions of Reynolds, and was asked questions by Reynolds in return. Throughout each visit—including those in Spring 2021—Reynolds will demonstrate ways students may harness their stories and step into their own voices. 

Participating schools below received 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:

  • 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

These schools were selected from almost 200 proposals received in Spring 2020. Proposals for Jason Reynolds’s 2021 GRAB THE MIC tour—currently planned for Spring 2021—are now being accepted via Library of Congress partner, Every Child a Reader External.

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!