In recognition of NATIONAL READING MONTH, challenged readers from 3rd – 7th grade performed a live dramatic reading, in full costume from “Black Panther” movie last week, showing their progress and success. Non-profit organizations United Voices of Literacy, and El Nido Family Centers act as a catcher’s mitt, targeting and assisting these students reading below grade level, who are now reading two grades above level.
Invited guests stepped through the doors at El Nido’s SW LA site into the colorful and tropical world of Wakanda, sampled African food, sipped on Black Panther purple juice, and were entertained by the talented students and their tutors who are professional actors.
The students worked with Shalet Monique, actress and stunt actor from “Wakanda Forever,” who generously volunteered her time coaching the students via Zoom, and Rashida Shabazz, Tasha Smith Acting Workshop coach to bring their fierce voices to their first live reading performance. Other coaches include Rafael Castillo and Christopher A’mmanuel of the series "Black Lightning."
The program also pairs youth with other trained community professionals to improve reading and comprehension in the after-school Zoom program. Students are tutored and coached in reading passages which are two grades above their actual grade level and coached in dramatic reading. Over 90% of El Nido’s students in the structured program have improved their reading comprehension, confidence, and reading enjoyment.
The Black Panther Reading Performance was presented by United Voices of Literacy, Inc. www.uvoli.org, El Nido Family Centers www.elnidofamilycenters.org and sponsored in part by the Dr. Seuss Foundation.
PHOTO CREDIT: RICHARD DORAN PHOTOGRAPHY