The National African American Read-In began in 1990 and has over a million readers of all ethnic groups from 49 states, the West Indies, and some African countries gathering in schools, churches, bookstores, community centers and homes to celebrate literacy and Black American Literature. Sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the Read-In has been endorsed by the International Reading Association. Penn State Altoona has hosted an Altoona Area African American Read-In annually since 2000. A “report card” of the readings shared on our campus each February is sent to the NCTE to be recognized as part of the national total.
Since its inception in 2000, the African American Read-In at Penn State Altoona has grown into a multi-faceted program delivering a series of events for the campus and surrounding community each February. As a national event, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English since 1989, it is a program committed to making African American literature and literacy a central part of Black History Month celebrations. Accordingly, the AARI at Penn State Altoona seeks to educate and raise awareness about the African American literary tradition, to foster diversity, to promote a love of reading, and to offer opportunities for academic and cultural enrichment to the Penn State Altoona campus and the Altoona Area community. Over a million readers nationally participate in the Read-In each year.
How to Get Involved
Enroll in AFAM/ENGL/INART 141N
Students may enroll in the The African American Read-In Engaged Learning course to earn course credit for bringing AARI programming to our campus and surrounding community. In the fall semester, students explore, discover, and study a range of literary works in addition to music, visual art, and film clips that relate to the annual theme, then collaborate with classmates to create creative or academic projects to present at the Read-In the following February. Projects may take a range of forms–film, performance, music composition, research/ scholarship, creative writing–depending upon the unique interests and talents students bring to the course. In the spring semester, students will take part in shaping, promoting, and delivering the 2-day African American Read-In at Penn State Altoona, which includes a children’s program, a community dinner program for Altoona area residents, visiting authors and speakers, and the famous day-long Monday Marathon, at which they will also present their final projects.
ENGL/INART/AFAM 141N, meets with ENGL/INART 497 (instructor sign-in for 497)
2 credits in the fall; 1 credit in the spring (spring course only 5 weeks)
Meets GA/GH/US/N (integrative inter-domain)
Any interested Penn State Altoona student, staff, or faculty member may also join the committee as a volunteer. Contact Dr. Megan Simpson for more information at 814-949-5288 or email@example.com.
Become the AARI Student Artist
Every year we invite a Penn State Altoona student artist to design a new logo for the Read-In early in the fall semester. This logo is featured on the T shirts and promotional materials for that year’s events. Contact Dr. Megan Simpson for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org