Project Lit connects students, teachers at Bearden with diverse literature

Jannat Bahanni, Staff Writer

Project Lit is a grassroots literacy movement that focuses on building a community of reading within schools and the communities that surround them.

In the past four years, Project Lit has collaborated with students, educators, and writers to turn a classroom initiative into a nationwide literacy campaign. 

The organization chooses books that allow students of diverse backgrounds to come together and feel both heard and valued.

“Students who read about others that may not look like them increases their empathy, understanding, and tolerance of cultures and others that are different,” librarian Mrs. Kristen Heffern said.

Currently, more than 1,300 Project Lit chapters are being established across 48 states, along with a few international chapters. Now, Project Lit has made its way to Bearden.

The club is meeting in the library on Monday after school. The book for this month is Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo.

Generally, the popularity of this organization and club originates from teachers and students who wish to win back the soul of reading and help establish reading as a communal learning experience,” said Mrs. Shelby Graves, who helped found the Bearden High chapter of the club. 

In a safe environment, participants will address difficult issues such as bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia, and the manner in which they can stand up for what they believe.

Project Lit also has an intentional focus on discussing books that are relevant to issues in today’s world and that contain diverse, affirming stories for every reader,” Mrs. Graves said.

While the pandemic interrupted many students’ opportunities to read in groups, many are now able to discuss literature with others through the new club.

Project Lit provides both of these things: reading selections that are relevant and a positive community that will celebrate every reading attempt,” Mrs. Graves said.From there, increased relevance for and success with reading builds reading stamina over time.”

Despite the unusual school year, Bearden students, both in-person and online, have the opportunity to come forward and interact with fellow pupils across the nation by connecting with all forms of literature.