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ASPIRA of Florida

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ASPIRA of Florida Joins Miami Dade College in African American Read-In Day

On February 6, 2012, Miami Dade College North Campus and ASPIRA of Florida, Inc. joined together with elementary and secondary school students, parents, teachers, and community representatives all across the country to participate in the National African American Read-In chain.

Read-In_ASPIRANTES-WebHL"The Read-In Day was a great opportunity for our charter school students to hear from distinguished members of our community how reading books changed their lives, and helped make them successful. ASPIRA is very grateful to Miami Dade College for this collaborative effort," said Edward Hernandez, Board Chair of ASPIRA, who was present at the event.

The goal is to make the celebration of African American literacy a traditional part of Black History Month activities.

A live audience of over 400 community leaders, faculty and students, including those from ASPIRA's Eugenio Maria De Hostos and Raul Arnaldo Martinez Charter Schools, gathered at the North Campus to hear a panel of guests speak about their favorite African American authors and lessons learned from their literature.

Read-In_Panel-Web"The Read-In was an energizing experience! The books were wonderful and without even planning it, we (the panelists) each found something different in them that resonated with our souls. The students were engaged and I enjoyed sharing with them, how reading opened up new worlds for me that I would never have been exposed to, growing up in the South Bronx, NYC," explained Dr. Maria Vallejo, Provost, Palm Beach State College Lake Worth Campus, ASPIRA Board member, and event panelist.

ASPIRA's Vice Chair of Programs and Planning, Isabel Rodriguez-Dehmer, Associate Professor Senior, MDC North Campus, assisted in coordinating the event. George Cabrera, President and CEO, and Aymet Chaples, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer represented ASPIRA at the event as well.

The Twenty-Third National African American Read-In has been endorsed by the International Reading Association and sponsored by the Black Caucus of National Council of Teachers of English and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). They urge schools, communities, and churches to host and coordinate read-ins in their communities in a concerted effort to promote literacy and enhance participation.

Read-In_Group-WebOver a million readers of all ethnic groups from the United States, the District of Columbia, the West Indies, African countries, and more have participated.

"Reading is a cornerstone of learning, and North Campus is proud to present its African American Read-In as a permanent and active link in a national chain that promotes literacy and otherwise enriches students," said Dr. José Vicente, president of MDC's North Campus, in an article published on the university's website.