Jonathan’s Legacy Book Club, a literacy promotion initiative, recently held its first meeting at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center.
Thirty children, ages 5 to 15 and their parents, were on hand. Kim Underwood, a local author, read one of his books and then talked about his writing career. Children were able to select a free book to take home and then participated in an art activity that linked art and literacy. The activity was led by Amanda Gordon, a teacher at Diggs-Latham Magnet School, and Mark Wilkinson, at Ibraham Aeronautics Elementary School. Both Gordon and Wilkinson explained how art is a very important part of publishing a book. The art activity ended with each child choosing a title for a book they would potentially write; they then created a cover for their book.
‘These children were very excited to receive all the art supplies donated by the sponsors,” Gordon observed. “It was wonderful to see how they made a connection between art and literacy and started to think about how they could use the skills learned to pursue a career later in life.”
Cameron Payne, director of Jonathan’s Legacy and a middle school student, wanted to use this activity as a way to introduce young people to careers in literacy and to help increase the number of young people interested in reading.
“Learning can be so interesting and fun,” Cameron said.
“I want to help young people grow up to find satisfying careers in whatever field inspires them. One way I do that is by gifting them books that focus on science, technology, engineering, art and math. Another way is to have people who have found a career that they love – writer, mechanical engineer, nurse – talk to young people about what their work lives are like and why they like what they do,” said Jonathan’s Legacy Book Club Executive Director Beryl Mankins . “I also want to encourage young people to write, draw and create. That is why we gift them a journal to keep at home. This journal can be used to write and illustrate a story about a career they imagine they would enjoy.”
The volunteers were Remona Brooks, Linda Hargrove, Sharon Parks, Ashley Reid and Jordan Reid. The City of Winston-Salem Department of Recreation and Parks and the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center have partnered with Jonathan’s Legacy and provided space for a library where families can come and get free books.
For more information about Jonathan’s Legacy, contact Beryl Mankins at 336-777-1068.