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Willard donates Sojourner Truth books to schools

Zena Perry, who works at Dudley STEM Elementary School in the Battle Creek Public Schools, displays the Sojourner Truth books the school received from Willard Library in honor of Sojourner Truth Week.
Willard Library recently donated books about Sojourner Truth to area schools to celebrate Sojourner Truth Week in late November.

"The Sojourner Truth Institute approached Willard because we had partnered with the library earlier in the year, and it was a fantastic partnership," Kimberly L. Holley, director of the institute, said. "Since this was about books and storytelling, we felt like it would be a natural partnership.

Willard purchased 24 copies of the books My Name is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth by Ann Turner and James Ransome and Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride by Andrea Davis Pinkney in honor of Sojourner Truth Day, which is Nov. 26.

The books were delivered to elementary schools in Battle Creek, Harper Creek, Lakeview, and Pennfield school districts as well as local private and charter schools. Each book has a note that it was a gift from Willard Library.

Holley explained why the institute wanted to have the books in schools.

"Part of our mission is to educate the community about the legacy of Sojourner Truth, and we're particularly focused on young people," Holley said. "Our vision is to empower the next generation of Sojourner Truths, and we wanted to find ways to educate people about her life's work."

Holley said the institute hopes students will be inspired by her courage and life's work, adding that ideally they might view her as a model for civic engagement.

Holley said she was surprised to find out that Willard already had plans to bring illustrator James Ransome and his wife, author Lesa Cline-Ransome, to Battle Creek in April.

Cline-Ransome is an award-winning children's author, while Ransome has illustrated dozens of books. The couple has published several books together including Game Changers about Venus and Serena Williams, and Before She Was Harriet about Harriet Tubman.

Matt Willis is senior manager of reference and adult services. He is currently listening to "I Contain Multitudes" by Ed Yong on Hoopla.

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Wednesday, 27 October 2021