Teaching children using the science of reading is important for many reasons, but let’s never discount how crucial it is for advancing civil rights. 

A 2018 speech by Lacey Robinson was resurfaced this week by literacy expert Vesia Hawkins to commemorate Black History Month. 

Hawkins keyed into one moment in Robinson’s talk in particular. 

“Research says in order to be a fluent reader, you have to know the code,” Hawkins wrote. “Why do you withhold the code from some children?”

Watch Robinson’s speech to learn more about how Black people have been prevented from reading throughout American history. Then, ask yourself how we can do better for Black students now. 

CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools Sonja Santelises agreed with Hawkins. She’s been in the room with Robinson during another speech, and, well, let her tell you:

To learn more about Hawkins’ pro-literacy work, check out her upcoming appearance at the Center for Development and Learning’s “The Balanced Literacy Backlash” event at #PlainTalkNOLA. 

More from Vesia Hawkins

More science of reading

More from science of reading expert Debbie Meyer

Photo from UnboundEd on Facebook.


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