2020 was quite a year. Despite the ups and downs, we managed to accomplish much more than we anticipated. Here’s what we did:
January 2020-Multicultural Children’s Book Day!
Early on in 2020, we participated in the big linky #ReadYourWorld day and were fortunate to read and review 10 Gulab Jamuns written by Sandhya Acharya. The irony in getting paired with the selection is that Mrs. Tiffany absolutely loves Indian cuisine and had never experienced the richness of Gulab Jamuns. The story is a savory account of family traditions, celebrations, and a bit of mischief. All in all, it was a beautiful treasure, and we were grateful to participate in the festivities yet again.
February 2020-Official Little Free Library @The Garden at Park at Palm Center Launch
In September 2019, Imagiread learned that they were selected to curate an outdoor learning space in the heart of 77021, a local community inside Houston’s loop. We’d applied for the opportunity with the intent to make culturally relevant and authentic literacy learning materials and instructional support available to the community without restriction. The lending center, located inside the community garden at the Park at Palm Center, was designed to be a space where community members could come and support the garden’s fresh produce and engage in primary and supplemental literacy development programming. The first launch event happened in December 2019 but was rained out, so we held the official launch in February 2020, and the community showed up and out! Stay tuned for our full report of the Library’s progress.
BSAM Houston and Imagiread presents: The African American Read-In Series featuring Anansi the Spider
For three years now, Imagiread has been fortunate to partner with the Black Speculative Arts Movement’s local Houston chapter. The global organization heralds the visionary theories and practices of artists who center their creations on Afrofuturism’s premise.
As part of the annual conference, held at the Houston Museum of African American Culture, Imagiread read and discussed Anansi the Spider. The objective was to reflect upon the figurative and metaphorical language ever-present in the story and how its development has contributed to African cosmology, furthering the dialogue about Afrofuturistic concepts. For more information about BSAM Houston and Imagiread’s progress, follow us on Instagram.
March 2020-Women Who Write 4 Kidz
As a way to celebrate Women’s History Month, we acknowledged some of our favorite women who write for kids. Ashlee Chesney, Eiry Rees Thomas, and Sandra Elaine Scott were the three powerhouses we featured.
April 2020-Checking In on our Community
After surveying our community in response to the pandemic’s stay-at-home order, we determined that rereleasing some of the content we’ve developed over the years could help support parents, teachers, and scholars could benefit. Our first workshop was Introduction to Adult Literacy, onward to Deep Space (a mini-writing camp for kids), and finally a S.T.E.M-based Black Panther online session for fun.
June 2020-Storyplay by Imagiread Parent Guide release
The original goal was for the guide to be accompanied by the exclusive boxed kits. Unfortunately, the vendor we contracted to put the boxes together had difficulty organizing as a result of COVID19 and we had to cancel shipments. The guide is still available to download and we will be relaunching it soon along with others on our new resource page.
August 2020-The Wheel of Imagination
Situated as the focal point for all Imagiread’s programming, we released Imagiread’s all-new Wheel of Imagination. Its foundation mirrors the WSCC model and accounts for culturally responsive literacy learning development for children and support for parents, educators, and community organizers. It’s just one piece of our big picture to extend ongoing assistance, tools and resources to create interpersonal literacy learning strategies that focus on mindfulness alongside adaptive and reflective practices.
September 2020-Back to School for The Whole Child
Following the unveiling of our Wheel of Imagination, we created an online symposium for parents, educators, and community organizers that identified the ways everyone can healthily support learners by balancing virtual learning, prioritizing digital wellness, and reaching out to the community for support and resources. For more about the series, follow us on Facebook to watch the replay.
October 2020-Going back to our roots
We received an exclusive invitation to participate in the Case for Kids Virtual Provider Fair and we were pleased to answer the call. As a long-time preferred vendor with Case, we were fortunate to present our catalog of out-of-school time programming for dozens of schools, daycares, and community-based programs in and around Houston and Harris County.
November 2020-National Family Literacy Month celebration
We wouldn’t be who we are if we didn’t celebrate NFLM! One of our favorite month-long fiestas, we held a contest encouraging families to submit a video that captures reading together for a chance to snag a gift certificate from Bookshop.
Evolved from our Mobile Kidlit Book Fair started in 2015, we wanted to revive the concept and give Imagireading families the choice to purchase titles that are near and dear to us online while supporting independent book shops across the country. The lists are segmented according to our Wheel of Imagination. Gift certificates are also available. Check it out here.
December 2020-The Future of Imagiread
We made an important announcement about the future of Imagiread and did it via email. Our message: no more mass emails because the community is our business. We meant that we would be communicating with our families personally and focusing more on reconnecting with partners and relationships that have supported us over the years. We, in turn, announced Operation 10,000 Children Imagireading and added dates where we will be online every third Sunday starting at 4:00 PM for those who want and need homework help and S.T.E.M-based learning support.
Reconnecting with MMSA
As part of our ongoing commitment to professional development and partnership, Imagiread was able to participate in three sessions facilitated by MMSA.
Book Pack Giveaway at The Garden
Because we encouraged healthy asynchronous learning practices back in August during our Back-to-School for The Whole Child, we wanted to do something that would engage learners both online and offline. We put together an Imagiread book pack with activities for scholars to partake in and coined one of the activities “In Other Words Wednesday”. The objective of the exercise is for scholars to look up words and remix them in their own way without using the dictionary’s terminology.
Star Wars Pack Giveaway
We kept the spirit of giving going with a Star Wars book pack giveaway and chose five wonderful families to share the book love with. For more information about the giveaway, follow us on Instagram.
BSAM Houston Kwanzaa Celebration
We couldn’t let the year end without spotlighting a special Kwanzaa experience. In collaboration with BSAM Houston, we made our original story “Kwanzaa for The Makers” available for listening pleasure via YouTube. BSAM Houston commemorated the occasion by hosting a special ZOOM candlelight ceremony that upheld each principle daily.
2021 and beyond!
With 2020 behind us and a clear idea of what our community needs the most, we’ve decided to keep it short and incredibly simple. Here’s what we are dedicated to this year:
-Operation 10,000 Children Imagireading
–21st Century Literacy Learning for The Whole Child
—The Wheel of Imagination
—S.M.A.R.T Learning System
—Imagireading is as easy as 1,2,3 in conjunction with the launch of the Imagiread with Me Series & iRead W.I.S.E
–In Other Words Wednesday
–Meet the Author Series
-BSAM Houston Partnership Initiatives
Don’t forget to follow us and stay connected on YouTube. Happy Imagireading 2021!
Congratulations on your commendable achievements during the year, Imagiread. Looking ahead with anticipation to all your progressions during 2021.
Thank you so much, Eiry. We are so grateful to have you along for the ride with us. 🙂