literally powerful
 
 

TO REDUCE THE RACIAL-ETHNIC ACHIEVEMENT GAP, STUDENTS NEED CONFIDENCE-BUILDING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES THAT ADVANCE THEIR READING & WRITING SKILLS. THAT’S WHERE WE COME IN.

 
 

WE OFFER CHILDREN:

— an opportunity to write, illustrate, and publish children’s books.

— after school programming that advances literacy skills.

— a level playing field to realize their dreams.

 
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NARRATIVE

We will continually strive to cut to the heart of the racial-ethnic achievement gap with literacy building resources and programs.

The U.S. educational system remains one of the most unequal in the industrialized world, despite efforts to lessen the achievement gap. As a result, social status remains a predictor of a student’s access to quality education that allows cyclical poverty and underemployment to facilitate a system where non-Asian minorities routinely receive dramatically different learning opportunities.

Assumptions that prop up debates on the cause(s) of the educational achievement gap fail to consider that educational outcomes for minority children are likely a function of their unequal access to key educational resources than it is purely a function of race. Despite stark differences in funding, teacher quality, curriculum, and class sizes, the prevailing view is that if students do not achieve, it is their own fault. If we are ever to get beyond the problem of the color line, we must confront and address these inequalities.

Early on, we recognized that developing an innovative pedagogy need not wholly disrupt education as usual. Instead, a narrow concentration on reconfiguring proven systems so that the needs of the targeted population are met. We acknowledged models that could offer value with a culturally and linguistically appropriate emphasis, in addition to mixing our own civic and dialogic-learning methodologies to maintain the desired foci. As a result, certain tools and materials have been deemed requisite to achieving the desired outcome with African American and Latinx students who have yet to read and write at the required grade level.

Reducing the racial-ethnic achievement gap is a solvable problem that requires the pooling of diverse resources. SuperLit is embracing their responsibility to assist like-minded social change agents, and we look forward to furthering our efforts to generate a sustainable impact.

 


Letter from the Executive Director

Friends,

Multiple Sclerosis is an unpredictable and debilitating disease. I know this because my sister was diagnosed with it in 2016. The diagnosis has forever changed both of our lives.

Shortly after hearing the news, I returned to Durham, North Carolina to ensure that she was receiving the proper care. Prior to her diagnosis, my sister was an accomplished teacher in Guilford county where she taught special education to a predominantly Medicaid eligible population of African American students at Dudley High School. While her muscles atrophied, her mind remained active and invested in school transformation. By her side, I listened to stories of educational disparities and opportunities to enact significant and sustainable change. Soon, my pursuit of Wall Street lost its luster.

After several edifying discussions with her, and some equally passionate educators, I became consumed by the possibilities and started SuperLit: a nonprofit initiative with aims of advancing the literacy skills of underperforming African American and Latinx students. I envisioned SuperLit as an opportunity to offer high-quality, year-round multi-sensory and data-driven programming that would eliminate the racial-ethnic achievement gap.

Empowering at risk children with the opportunity to publish children’s books and developing a pedagogy for an after school academy that merged Common Core State Standards (CCSS) with entertaining dialogic approaches became our chief concerns. Ensuring that these programs would provide the desired impact proved of equal importance to making certain that both offerings are free to participants.

We applaud the efforts of educators and institutions already entrenched in the fight to eliminate educational disparities, and we sincerely hope to add value to their offerings. We are proud of the parents who are committed to helping their children defy the odds. And to the young minds, who often feel that the system is unfair: We are here to help you realize your dreams despite any obstacles you encounter along the way.

Your Literal Servant,

King

Executive Director, SuperLit

 

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CURRICULA

Young Words is an opportunity for at-risk children to write, illustrate, and publish children’s books that reflect their relationships with society and themselves. Once students complete the 6-week program, their confidence, engagement, and ownership of their education will have improved sufficiently enough to advance their literacy skills to, or beyond, their proper grade level.

 

LIT Academy is an after school program that offers supplemental literacy intervention coaching for students that have been identified as at risk in reading and writing for a variety of reasons including learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, working memory, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or other socioeconomic and language-based difficulties. Boundless classrooms employ an innovative pedagogy that joins learner-centered, dialogic instruction with culturally and linguistically appropriate course materials to preempt truancy.

 
 
 

Support the authors

Merch + Bookstore

(coming soon)

Planned Giving

In the United States, education is the fundamental right of all its citizens. Unfortunately, the racial-ethnic achievement gap continues to fluctuate between wide and widening. Your decision to contribute to our efforts, is a step toward treating this very curable ill.

join our book club for details on how to invest in the future of at risk youths.

Join the Team

we are always seeking dynamic social change agents. send us a note if you're interested in becoming a mentor, and we will keep you updated on upcoming opportunities.

Allies

Cocoa Cinnamon, Pie Pushers, book harvest, partners for youth opportunity, scalawag, The Parlour, Durham Literacy Center, blackspace, Durham Public Library

 
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Dialogue

info@getsuperlit.org