New York Times Best-Seller, Dr. Carole Boston Weatherford, to Visit Brevard College After Postponement

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Brevard College’s Teacher Education Program, will host children’s author, Dr. Carole Boston Weatherford, and her son, Jeffery Weatherford, a notable illustrator, on April 4th in the Francis Pavilion of the Porter Center. Weatherford’s visit was originally scheduled for this past November. 

The presentation is entitled  “The Power of Children’s Literature: Building Comprehension Skills to Empower All Readers,” and focuses on the role multicultural literature plays to open the world of learning and build background knowledge. The event begins with a reception at 6:30 pm and lecture at 7 pm.

The Weatherfords will tour the Mary C. Jenkins Community Center earlier in the afternoon to view exhibits about the historic Rosenwald community and meet community members. Dr. Weatherford’s book, Dear Mr. Rosenwald, commemorates the Rosenwald schools that were built in the rural African-American South in the 1920s.

Weatherford is a Newbery Honor author, New York Times best-seller and two-time NAACP Image Award winner. Since her 1995 debut, she has published 50-plus books including these Caldecott Honor winners: Freedom in Congo Square, Voice ofFreedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. Most recently, Weatherford’s book Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre was the 2022 winner of the Coretta Scott King Book Award honoring African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults. She is also a Professor of English at Fayetteville State University.

A Baltimore-born daughter of educators, Weatherford at age six dictated her first poem to her mother. Her father, a high school printing teacher, published some of her early poems on a printing press in his classroom. By middle school, she had transferred from an all-black public school to an exclusive private school. There, her eighth-grade teacher wrongfully accused her of plagiarism. That slight left her determined to use her writing to amplify marginalized voices. Now, her words stand as monuments to icons and unsung heroes alike.

Growing up, Weatherford found few Black characters in books. But when she became a mother, she shifted from writing for adults to creating children’s literature.

Dr. Megan Keiser, Interim Director of Brevard College’s Teacher Education Program and Coordinator of Childhood Education, received a grant $15,000 from North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities to embed more Science of Reading into the program’s literacy courses.

Highland Bookstore will be selling Weatherford’s books and will donate a portion of the proceeds to Brevard’s chapter of the Augustine Literacy Project, whose mission is to help improve the reading, writing and spelling abilities of low-income students who struggle with literacy skills. The project trains and supports volunteer tutors who provide free, long-term, 1:1 instruction using the Orton-Gillingham approach and Wilson Reading System® materials.

Brevard College’s Childhood Education students are collaborating with the Augustine Literacy Project to pilot a phonological awareness intervention with local first graders.