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  • Writer's pictureDustin Nelson

Family Reading Time – February 2023

What Is Family Reading Time?

We created Family Reading Time as a way to bring our community together with books, games, dancing, and more! The event begins with a reading of "Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem" by Amanda Gorman. This excellent children’s book touches on important contemporary themes while being suited for audiences of all ages.

We’re providing snacks, drinks, crafts, and games for all our families that attend. The schedule begins with

  • A Warm Welcome @ 6:30pm

  • Book Reading @ 6:35pm

  • Breakout Rooms for activities @ 6:50pm

  • Wrap up @ 7:30pm

We hope that you can join us for this literacy event on Tuesday, February 28th at the ReDefiners World Languages building in Tampa, Florida.

Our office is located at ReDefiners- 8056 N 56th Street, Tampa, FL 33617

Don't miss this exciting opportunity to engage in fun activities while promoting literacy and learning about culture.

Why Did We Create Family Reading Time?

Family Reading Time is our way of connecting with the people we care about the most: you, the community.

We feel that a book-reading event is the best avenue to present our mission in a fun and engaging way. Education is vital for the future success of every child, and we strive to provide equitable learning opportunities wherever possible. We take pride in being a pioneer of early language learning, we offer numerous classes both online and in traditional classroom settings for children and adults.

Family Reading Time combines all of these elements into one event.

Why Did We Choose "Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem?"

"Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem" is a beautifully written children’s book that covers important themes like friendship, acceptance, kindness, tolerance, resilience, and change.

It was written by Amanda Gorman, the 2020 Presidential Inaugural Poet and 2017 National Youth Poet. The illustrations were drawn by New York Times Best Selling Illustrator, Loren Long. Expect to find wonderfully rhythmic prose accompanied by Gorman’s signature quick metaphors, and Long adds vividly colorful pictures to complete the storytelling.

We thought that was appropriate on multiple levels. First, it teaches children that they can be a force for change in the world.

As Gorman writes,

“We all hear change strumming,

won’t you sing along?”

This wholesome call-to-action inspires our younger generations to join in creating change to make a world.

Second, the rich symbolism presented in the book teaches the power of friendship, inclusiveness, and diversity. Throughout the story, the main protagonist, equipped with her guitar, leads us on a journey of good deeds while finding members for her band in the process. She is joined by a boy with a tuba as they pick up trash together, another with a trumpet who needs some convincing, a girl with drums, a basketball player with a trombone, and finally, a child playing the tambourines.

In a world marked by division, camaraderie in a simple children’s book is refreshing.

Third, since this Family Reading Time is scheduled in February, we thought that a book that captures the message of Black History Month would be appropriate. By this, we mean that the book exudes a heartfelt message of positive change and encourages the togetherness of all people. Pictures of Martin Luther King Jr. and prose that “builds a better bridge” between people of different backgrounds drive home this point.

Additionally, Amanda Gorman is a young black poet of exceptional renown, and she is quickly becoming a black icon in the literature space of the same caliber as Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. It is fitting to honor her achievements this month.

Who Are We: ReDefiners World Languages?

ReDefiners is a pioneering non-profit organization with the goal of developing a compassionate community of global citizens, who are both economically and socially responsible, through world language and cultural enrichment. Education in global communication is paramount in developing cognitive skills, creating opportunities for upward mobility, and establishing a foundation to excel in an ever-increasing globalized society.

We strive to provide local language learning opportunities in Arabic, English, Spanish, and Mandarin through our enrichment programs to youth and adults, regardless of socioeconomic background.

Our programs target children in grades k-5, along with their caregivers, in the Tampa Bay area and through virtual learning with a mission of promoting social change, creating equity in educational opportunities, providing a competitive advantage to youths and adults, and developing multilingual global citizens with an understanding and respect for different cultures.

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