January 29, 2023

Save the Net Books

Blogazine on Books, Arts, and Music

Freedom to Read Advocacy Institute for high schoolers accepting applications

In a fantastic collaboration between two world-class institutions working against censorship and book bans, high school students across the country are invited to apply and participate in the Freedom to Read Advocacy Institute. The Brooklyn Public Library — named Librarians of the Year by Library Journal for its Books Unbanned program — and PEN America — a leader in tracking and educating the current landscape of book bans — have partnered to offer four-week online training to Help the Current Riot Students are learning how to speak up against the book bans affecting their schools, libraries and communities.

This free program includes interactive workshops, the opportunity to develop personal advocacy plans, and the opportunity to meet both authors and other student activists dedicated to the cause of freedom of thought. Guests include author Ashley Hope Pérez, Girls Who Code creator Reshma Saujani, Florida Freedom to Read Project co-founder Jen Cousins, and student activists Christina Ellis, Edha Gupta, and Jack Petocz.

Students who attend and attend all four gatherings will receive a certificate and join a cohort of “Freedom-of-Reading Ambassadors.” Such an award will allow students to attend and participate in future workshops and advocacy opportunities.

More importantly, students who participate are willing to be leaders in the movement by stripping them of their reading rights.

High school graduates can apply for the program here. Meetings are held every Thursday evening in February from 5:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Eastern time. Visit the PEN America website for more information about the program.

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