On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, the Caribbean Bar Association (“CBA”) successfully executed its signature youth literacy initiative “Caribbean Reading Day” for the first time in Miami-Dade County. After enjoying considerable success in Broward County, the CBA brought Caribbean Reading Day to CARE Elementary School located in the historic Overtown neighborhood.
The remarkable and bright children from CARE Elementary thoroughly enjoyed the story time sessions and the interaction with the young lawyers from CBA. In addition, the children particularly enjoyed interacting with Eleventh Circuit County Court Judge Jason Dimitris and U.S. District Court Judge Donald Graham. The CBA received great feedback from the young lawyers and the Judges that participated as well as the teachers and administrators from the school and plan to continue the program next year.
Caribbean Reading Day was started by the CBA in 2008 to address the low literacy levels in South Florida’s African American communities. The program has been hosted annually during the summer at the African American Research Library in Fort Lauderdale. Children ages 4-9 from underserved neighborhoods attend the event where young lawyers and judges read a book selected by the CBA. The day is designed to make reading fun and to pique the children’s interest in Caribbean American history and culture. The CBA also donates the books as well as school supplies to the children that attend the event. The books selected by the CBA reflect the culture of different Caribbean islands. Past titles include Tap-Tap by Karen Lynn Williams which featured the island of Haiti and Every Little Thing by Cedella Marley. This year, the CBA selected A Day With Bonefish Joe by Elizabeth Howard which highlights the islands of the Bahamas.