Baylor School students read the works of black poets and philosophers Monday in the school’s 13th annual African American Read-In Day.
Local playwright, educator and musician LaFrederick Thirkill was the school’s guest speaker. He started the day by teaching students original songs that he had written. Then students came to the microphone to read aloud poetry written by Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou and LeRoi Jones. Students also read excerpts of “Dead Innocent,” a play written by Thirkill about a 1906 lynching that happened in Chattanooga.
“If we look at the statistics about the number of American kids who read and write on grade level, you see the need to enhance literacy,” said Thirkill, Apison Elementary School assistant principal. “(Literacy) shouldn’t stop at a primary level. It should be celebrated and encouraged throughout the lives of students.”
Yolanda Putman has been a reporter at the Times Free Press for 11 years. She covers housing and previously covered education and crime. Yolanda is a Chattanooga native who has a master’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Alabama State University. She previously worked at the Lima (Ohio) News. She enjoys running, reading and writing and is the mother of one son, Tyreese. She has also ...