by Erin Brown
Literature for All of Us is delighted to continue its long-term partnership with Simpson Academy for Young Women, the only high school in Chicago specifically for pregnant and parenting teens.
This year we are facilitating six groups at Simpson, and are fortunate to be working with the entire school. Once per month our discussions focus on literature for the students themselves, such as the poetry of Maya Angelou and Naomi Shihab Nye. We also meet with them monthly for our EPIC program, which incorporates discussion of quality children’s literature with broader themes of attachment, early literacy, and the joys and challenges of parenting.
by Stella Akua Mensah
During the last month of my book group at Second Chance Alternative High School, we started Tyrell by Coe Booth. We talked about sexual harassment, mentors, parental figures that are not our parents, receiving and offering earnest support when folks are struggling, homes away from home, homelessness, poverty, polyamory, different roles we play in our families, dealing with neglectful mothers, and responsibilities.
We opened the group with the question, “How do you define being ‘grown’ or being an ‘adult’?” People had a lot of takes on this, mentioning living alone, financial independence, and spiritual/emotional independence. Participants agreed quite unanimously that we are never fully “grown”—that we never stop learning and evolving.