Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Reading at Cabot School

 Reading to End Racism was at Cabot School on Friday, November 10, 2023. Everything went well, and three students joined the readers!


Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Training September 30

 Join our training on September 30, 2023 from 10 - noon. It will take place at the Friends Meetinghouse, 203 Martin Meadow Road in Plainfield, Vermont. To attend, please let us know you are planning to come by email to juneiris@fairpoint.net

Monday, January 16, 2023

Workshop/Training on February 4, 2023 - Rosa Parks Day!

We have been inspired by the engagement and anti-racism activism of young people to try an exciting new system that pairs a high school student reader with one of our experienced readers.There will be a workshop/training on Saturday, February 4 at Jaquith Public Library in Marshfield, Vermont, from 1-3 PM. We will show what RER does and how it does it and  create pairs to work together in upcoming readings, our first since the pandemic began!

We will be going into two schools in a small way this school year, and are hoping to read at Twinfield (Plainfield/Marshfield) in March and Cabot in April. 

This is the agenda for the February 4 program:

1 p.m. Sign-in, Chat, & Browse

1:10 Welcome

1:20 Introductions

1:35 RER Skit

1:55 Partner Match & Book Choice

2:05 Planning Your Reading

2:35 Reading Date Sign-up

2:40 Behind the Scenes (nuts and bolts)

2:50 Wrap It Up

Monday, October 3, 2022

Day of Racial Equality

 On Friday, September 30 the Vermont Student Anti-Racism Network created a great gathering from 10-2 at the statehouse in Montpelier. Hundreds of students and activists from all over the state attended, and Reading to End Racism had a table that attracted a lot of interest!

People signed up to attend trainings and participate as readers!

 What a great day, providing hope for a better future! We're looking forward to having some new, young energy and enthusiasm in Reading to End Racism!



Monday, October 11, 2021

Video from Boulder, Colorado YWCA Group

 We have recently connected with Reading to End Racism groups in Charlotte and Burlington, Vermont. The Charlotte Central School's webpage linked to this video from a YWCA initiative in Boulder, Colorado that is very useful. Have a look HERE

We will soon be putting up new video readings of books in the grades K-3 and 3-5 tabs above. Stay tuned!


Friday, June 4, 2021

Training Materials Coming


The Reading to End Racism Steering Committee met today to update training materials for Volunteers and Coordinators. (Left to right: Cassie Major, Rachel Cogbill, Ellen Halperin, Janet Van Fleet, Beth Wade, and Lynn Rockwell) 

We have posted these excellent materials here on a new tab (above) called TRAINING. You can also find them HERE. Rachel Cogbill and Hannah Morvan will be giving a presentation to the International Convention of ADK on July 6.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Recent Article About Reading to End Racism Program and Plans

This was published in the Times-Argus on February 8, 2021, with some good information about the program and our plans for the fall.


Reading group hoping to get back into schools in the fall

By Eric Blaisdell, February 8, 202l

MONTPELIER – A group of volunteers is hoping to return to classrooms this fall to continue reading to students about inclusion and diversity.

In response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the group called Central Vermont Reading to End Racism has made videos available where children can have books read to them.

The group has been working in the area for more than 20 years. It was founded by Vermont educator and activist Paij Wadley-Bailey, who died in 2016.

The volunteers go into elementary school classrooms in Central Vermont on the same day once a year and read children’s literature that relates to racism and bullying. They also engage students in activities and discussion of the issues and thoughts the books raise.

Janet Van Fleet is one of the members of the group’s steering committee. Van Fleet, who taught elementary school students for about 10 years in Montpelier, said years ago she was looking for something to do in relation to racial justice.

She said racism is something this country has struggled with since its founding. “Until we deal with that, things aren’t going to be right,” she said.

Then she heard about this reading group. Van Fleet said the group’s work sounded like what she was looking for.

“Children are our most important resource,” she said.

Van Fleet said this group helps children with questions about fairness and justice at an early age, and helps them feel comfortable asking those questions.

Rachel Cogbill is another member of the group’s steering committee. Cogbill worked as a teacher for 39 years and joined the group after she retired about five years ago.

“I have been a teacher all of my life,” she said. “And I believe that children are the most important key to our future, and working with them is key in helping our society become a better and better place.”

She said the volunteers work alongside the teachers to find the right books for their students. She said if a book is addressing someone in the class in particular, like a student of color, the teacher will reach out to that student’s parents and get their thoughts on whether the book is appropriate.

“So we’re trying to be sensitive to the different backgrounds of the children in the class through collaboration with the teacher because the teacher is the one who really knows the students,” she said.

But those in-person reading sessions couldn’t happen this year because of the pandemic. Instead, the group has collected some publicly available videos of people reading certain children’s books and made them available at the group’s website: cvreadingtoendracism.blogspot.com

The videos are broken up into two categories, one for kindergartners through third-graders; and the other for third- through fifth-graders.

The videos for the younger students are broken up into topics which include what race is, multiculturalism and taking action. Videos for the older students focus on biographies, civil rights and racism and taking action.

The website gets about 100 hits a month, and Cogbill said people from outside Vermont have discovered the videos and are using them.

While the videos can help for now, Van Fleet said the volunteers want to get back into classrooms to have in-person interactions with students.

“The reason we do it the way we do it, where all the classrooms in the schools are having it at the same time, is that the children are then having a collective experience and we’re all learning about this.”

She said the pandemic has shown remote learning can be more difficult than in-person learning and the idea of the group is to have face-to-face discussions about these issues in the community.

She said the group is trying to help the students become good people. “I hope that when children are coming up in an environment of trust and kindness and justice and equal opportunity then maybe we can put this stuff to bed a little bit,” she said.