Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones launches literacy program in Iowa | lifestyle

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WATERLOO, Iowa – A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist known for her articles on races is starting a free community-based after-school literacy program in her hometown with educators in Iowa.

Nikole Hannah-Jones said the 1619 Freedom School had a soft launch at Dr. Walter Cunningham School for Excellence will run with a small number of students before the full program opens in January at the Masonic Temple in downtown Waterloo, the Waterloo-Cedar. Falls Courier reports.

The program will serve fourth and fifth grade students from Waterloo Community Schools.

“We will accept any student who has a need up to our capacity. We do not discriminate based on race of students, “said Hannah-Jones, adding that the test results showed” that there is an overwhelming need for black students. “

Students stay in the program for as long as necessary, and more children are enrolled each year.

Hannah-Jones rose to fame and won a Pulitzer for her work on the New York Times “1619 Project,” which re-framed US history through a racist equality lens and helped spread the idea of ​​critical racial theory – a topic that The Republican idiom has become a core element.

Although it bears a similar name, the elementary literacy program “has nothing to do with the 1619 Project at all” and does not teach critical racial theory, Hannah-Jones said. The Freedom School 1619 is privately financed.

The curriculum, teaching literacy through black history, was designed by educators from the Education, Investigation, and Justice Program at Georgetown University and the Carter Center for K-12 Black History Education at the University of Missouri. By 2022, the curriculum will be made available to everyone in the country free of charge.

“The 1619 Freedom School is based on the understanding that education is a revolutionary act for a people who were once illegal to learn to read and write,” said Hannah-Jones. “Quality education was key to my success and I wanted to give something back to the community that raised me and the children whose options are limited, whose potential is limitless.”