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Georgia Southern’s Lane Library and College of Education selected for Great Stories Club grant, supports underserved teens

(l-r) Anne Katz, Ph.D., associate professor of reading in the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum, Foundations and Reading, and Vivian Bynoe, Lane Library interim head of reference and instruction, who together secured a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, stand with Hubert Middle School students in the Great Stories Club.

Georgia Southern University’s Lane Library has been selected to take part in the Great Stories Club, a national reading and discussion program for underserved teens. Lane Library was awarded a competitive grant offered by the American Library Association (ALA), with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, to participate in the program.

As part of the Great Stories Club series on “Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation,” Lane Library Interim Head of Reference and Instruction Vivian Bynoe will work with Anne Katz, Ph.D., associate professor of reading in the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum, Foundations and Reading, to read and discuss stories with a literacy leadership group at Hubert Middle School in the Savannah-Chatham County School System. The group will explore questions of race, identity, history and social justice. The books are curated around the theme, “Growing Up Brave on the Margins: Courage and Coming of Age.” 

The titles were selected to inspire young people to consider big questions about the world around them and their place in it. Participating teens will also take part in storytelling sessions with local community leader Lillian Grant-Baptiste, where they will discuss issues surrounding identity. 

The project includes a programming grant and copies of each of the selected books, which will be gifted to the book club participants at the end of the program. Bynoe and Katz received resources and training, including travel for an orientation workshop in Chicago. The workshop included dialogue facilitation training led by consultants for Everyday Democracy.

Gatherings of the Great Stories Club began in October and extend through March 2020.

Since 2006, ALA’s Great Stories Club has helped libraries engage young adults with accessible, thought-provoking literature. The current series is part of the Kellogg Foundation’s “Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation” efforts, a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving nearly 26,500 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.

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