July 29, 2020

Saddleback Publications Webinar Series


SO Proud to represent DC Public Schools Librarians!

As you prepare for a school year like no other and seek resources to effectively utilize technology, develop literacy, and build community relationships, look no further than your school librarian. 

Join Washington, D.C., public school librarians Sherri Jones, K.C. Boyd and Christopher Stewart for this FREE webinar where they will highlight the extraordinary knowledge and tools librarians bring to our new schooling reality. 

From rolling out digital learning plans to distributing books and supplies, this webinar will open your eyes to the power of these often overlooked professionals during these unpredictable times.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2020
12:00 p.m. PDT / 3:00 p.m. EDT




July 19, 2020

Easy Like Sunday Morning: Congressman John Lewis

The recent passing of Representative John Lewis is very personal for me.  My parents raised my siblings and I on the principals of non-violence, love and advocacy.   These principals is still hold true to my heart today.

I had the pleasure of meeting him in 2017 at the School Library Journal Magazine Leadership Summit    Needless for say, I was tongue tied in this picture and he drove the conversation!  I couldn’t believe that I was shaking the hand of the man my parents taught me so much about. 

When SLJ Magazine reached out to me for a quote, I found the appropriate words I wish I could have said that day.   A sincere thank you for his influence on my practice and advocacy for school libraries. 

Simply said, Thank you John Lewis for your love and sacrifice. 
"Read, my Child, Read!" | Remembering John Lewis

July 13, 2020

#MondayMood


 I saw this on my childhood friend’s page and though I would #repost.

Lately I’ve been approached by a number of people to contribute to their ‘personal or passion’ projects.  Some of the invitations have downright raggedy and disrespectful of my time, my work and knowledge. Understand, I'm very sensitive to how my words are used as well as people who want to 'pick my brain.'   I get really tired of seeing my words used in their personal projects.   Don’t get me wrong, I do agree to some projects but when I get the sense of your ‘ask’ is fueled by the need to have a ‘black voice,’ for the project because ‘black’ is ‘hip’ these days, I ignore it.

 I’ve been asked to write chapters in books (no payment for my time, but I’m just supposed to be ‘happy’ to be included...yeah right.) podcast interviews, and test out educational material that my students would have absolutely no use for.   There are a number of projects I agreed to participate in and you will see them on my social media feeds.  The organizer was respectful of my time, knowledge and words, this is why I agreed to participate.  Why is respectful behavior of educators, media and sales representatives so difficult?  I'm tired of asking this question and I'm burned out from the behavior.

One day, I’ll sit down and write ‘my story,’ where I will have full control of the narrative. Until then, I’ll tell my story in very small bits and pieces when I want to.  I’ve lived a life that has been full of events that have been funny, sad, intriguing, frustrating, inspirational and yes unbelievable.  We all have a story to tell and learn from each other.  Share your story when the time is right and when you are inspired to do so. #KC_SaidIt 

June 28, 2020

Easy Like Sunday Morning: Black Boys

     I along with others across the country was angered by the racism that nine year old Dallas Greene encountered while trying to enter the Ouzo Bay Restaurant in Baltimore.  The youngster and his mother Marcia Grant were denied entry because young Dallas Greene was wearing athletic wear/tennis shoes.  Grant pointed out to the manager that she could see another youngster around the same age on the patio area of the restaurant wearing similar clothing as her son.  The question is, why was Dallas a black boy denied service while the white boy was permitted to dine?  The damage is done, this display of racism is forever engrained in his memory as he saw his mother argue with the restaurant's manager, and was refused service.  It angers me that this child had to experience the racism that plagued this country during the 1960's in 2020.  

     My school librarian mind clicked on immediately, I began to think about books that celebrate the spirit of black boys.  I am very sensitive about the stories for young black girls and boys...period!   I am also very critical of these stories, their message and imagery portrayed in books targeted for this very impressionable audience of young readers.   
- I have enjoyed books written by black authors who have authentically captured the voice, spirit, issues, and culture of the community.  
- I have also enjoyed books written by white authors who have done their homework and written a solid and accurate story, yet I want publishing houses to contract more black authors to write stories about our own community.

     The time has come for change.  Look at the 2019 statistics from the Cooperative Children's Book Center.  Each spring, the Cooperative Children's Book Center releases the numbers of children's and young adult books by and about BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) received in the previous year.  Only 46% of all children's books featuring black/African characters were written and/or illustrated by black/African authors and/or illustrators.  Publishing houses have got to do better.  I'm often in-boxed on social media by black authors who are trying to get their foot in the door.  I provide as much advice, from a school librarians point of view, as I can.  I understand that getting published is difficult, just look at J.K. Rowling, author of the "Harry Potter," book series.  Rowlings was rejected by twelve publishing houses before she was picked up by Bloomsbury.  African-American authors have it three times worst.


This brings me to a book that I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy from the publisher and had been sitting on my shelf for three weeks.  I've been meaning to write a review of this book but unfortunately, life got in the way.  I picked up this book again after seeing how Dallas Green's story had become a national headline.  My mind drifted back to the story I read one evening after a long weary day at work and meetings.  I recalled after reading the book how I felt.  The story left me smiling, renewed with hope and proud that two black men wrote/illustrated a book that celebrates the beauty of black boys.  Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James have created a treasure that should be on every bookshelf not just in African-American homes but all homes where little boys reside.  

You may remember, the 2017 release of  'Crown:  Ode to the Fresh Cut,' written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James.   The story was a beautiful salute to black boys, their pride, humanity and how they view themselves through a simple glance in the mirror.  I truly think, "I Am Every Good Thing," is a definite winner and contender during awards season next year.   Barnes lyrically describes to the reader:


I am good - I am worthy - I am proud and deserve respect.  
I am allot of things, all are good, and it is the good that you must see in me as I see in myself.  

These are daily affirmations I can teach my nephew who I see represented in the story and illustrations.  Here's a excerpt that just made me melt:


"I am good to the core, like the center of a cinnamon roll."

Working in K-12 education, often times the beauty black boys is lost because the focus is concentrated on academic achievement, athletic abilities and behavior.   The book is scheduled for release on September 1st and it's SO hard not to talk about the entire book and ruin it for others.   I just can't help myself, here's a couple of stand-out excerpts and illustrations from the story:
Black boys are that ball of energy, this image reminds me of a couple of my students and my nephew.  They struggle with staying in their seat, they are thinking ahead of you, recognizing they can help in any situation and they want to be a part of the mix.  They view themselves as a superhero with the ability to conquer any challenge they encounter with humor, a smile and bright eyes to match.  


This page really resonated with me.  Because of the racial times that we live in, I find myself reinforcing messaging that the parents of my black boys engrain in their minds.  Be polite, courteous,  a gentleman and scholar at all times, especially when others are suspicious or don't think you are worthy.  Look at the picture in this photo of this teen.  The man staring at the teen could be interpreted as surprise, respect or suspicion, regardless this is a teen and he will make mistakes and is still learning about 'people' and how to navigate in this complex and racist society we live in.


Despite the narrative that is assumed, this is a accurate depiction of African-American fathers with their sons.  The smiles and interaction is accurate while sharing what looks to be a common love:  basketball.  Sports can often serve as a bonding tool between father and son.  I fondly recall my brother and late father watching Chicago Bears Football on Sunday's after church.  My mother and I were responsible for bringing snacks to both of them while they screamed and barked at the television set.  This 'good noise' often interrupted my Sunday reading time but I wouldn't trade it for the world.  My brother was happy to get that uninterrupted time with my father as he schooled him on the game while cheering for Chicago Bear greats Gale Sayers, Walter Payton and William 'Refrigerator' Perry.  That interaction moved from the home to the field with my father yelling encouragement from the sidelines as my brother played pee-wee and high school football.


The story ends simply with:
"I am my ancestor's wildest dream"
"I am worthy to be loved"

Simply said, thank you for writing such a beautiful book that celebrates the true essence of black boys.  Barnes and James you have written a masterpiece that will be celebrated and loved for generations to come.

June 14, 2020

Black Women Are Credible Sources

Danielle Coke nailed it in this IG meme.

- If I were to tell you how many times parts of my presentations have been stolen without permission,
- If I were to tell you how many times my voice was silenced during meetings,
- If I were to tell you how many times I was not believed or trusted by co-workers or in stores,
- If I were to tell you how many times I was told, "You are cute... for a big girl,"
- If I were to tell you how many times I was informed by medical personnel that I can bear the pain...just think positively,
...it would definitely blow your mind.

Let's keep it simple moving forward: Just believe and respect me when I describe my experiences to you.
#SundayMorning #kc_saidit

Easy Like Sunday Morning: Booklists, Sadness and Activism


This week was extremely hectic, emotional and eventful.  Despite this, the work continues.  Stay tuned for the BCALA and ALSC Summer Reading Booklist for PreK-8th graders.   I am happy to announce that I will be engaged in a couple of exciting projects and speaking opportunities that I will share here in the months to come, stay tuned.  Finally, please when you have an opportunity, please support #DCPS Librarians by signing our petition to ensure that a full-time librarian is staffed in EVERY DCPS school 
#LibrarianLiteracyLeaders
#DCPSLibrariansChampionLiteracy #DCPSNeedsLibrarians
Petition - https://www.saveschoollibrarians.org/d_c_increases_education_budget

Here's a couple of highlights of my week through some of my social media posts on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. 

Best, 
K.C.

My booktalk on Library Love Fest sponsored by Harper Collins
Link to Facebook LIVE Recording
#BlackoutBestsellerList #BlackPublishingPower
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association and the American Library Association's Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table collaborate on new Black Lives Matter Comics Reading List Join us:  #SayTheirNames #BlackLivesMatter - http://www.ala.org/rt/gncrt/-black-lives-matter-comics-reading-lists

Antiracist Booklists: 
https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/pop-culture-news/reading-resistance-rise-antiracist-book-list-n1225661
#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd

The Long View: 
John Lewis, Congressman and Civil Rights Legend, Will Never Lose Hope
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/john-lewis-good-trouble-interview.html

#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor must extend beyond the passage of the new law in her name,
but also the arrest and conviction of the police officers responsible for taking her life.


Many thanks to DC resident and community activist Suzanne Wells for her testimony in front of the Washington D.C.  Joint Budget Oversight Hearing for Education Agencies.  Her testimony can be read in full here: https://w6pspo.org/2020/06/04/suzanne-wells-testimony-digital-equity-and-financial-literacy-council-hearing-2/

Honored to be interviewed! 
https://www.nmrt.ala.org/notes/perspectives-k-c-boyd/
I'm quoted in an EdTech Digest Article
https://edtechdigest.com/2020/06/11/not-all-heroes-wear-capes/







June 7, 2020

Easy Like Sunday Morning: My Spirit Has Been In A Constant State of Distress


For several weeks I've experienced some distressful events that has affected my spirit:

- Fighting with fellow library media specialists in Washington D.C. to maintain library programming    and positions in all areas of the city (this fight is still ongoing)
- Seeing the impact of a pandemic and my friends lose their loved ones to Covid-19,
- The slow response of districts across the country reacting to children living in poverty and
  provide virtual learning opportunities. (side note: I'm not a fan of charter schools mainly because of their treatment of black students and lack of school library programming/certified librarians but Perry raises some good points in this clip)

Then the violent murders of:
 #JusticeforAhmaudArbery  
 #JusticeforBreonnaTaylor
 #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd 

The news junkie in me has been visually traumatized.  My spirit is broken and in a constant state of distress.  I am functioning but I'm not doing well.

I know deep down I need to pull it together.  In this moment, I'm thinking about the bravery of Claudette Colvin, Congressman John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hammer, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Height, James Farmer, Jo Ann Robinson, Baynard Rustin, Rosa Parks, A. Phillip Randolph, Ella Baker, Malcolm X, Amelia Boynton Robinson, James Meredith, Daisy Bates and countless others who bravely demonstrated while fighting for equal rights in this country.  They pulled it together, never gave up...they give me the inspiration that I need.
(Note:  If you do not know the contributions of these people I named, I suggest you stop and read about them for yourself, I'm not providing links here.)

- However what keeps me up at night is my fear for my nephew, brother, uncles, male friends being unjustly targeted by the police.
- What keeps me up at night is the inequities of cities that have historically looked the other way
  when black men and women have been attacked by the police.
- What keeps me up at night is the efforts to defund the police is ignored by government leadership yet they want our vote every four years.

Working in education, I've seen year after year how the funding support is prioritized for the police department in the cities I've lived/worked in.   I've also seen how education budgets have been  dwindled down and directly affected the work that I'm expected to perform daily.  To be clear, I'm not against the police, I'm against the rogue police officers that plague our police departments across the country and illegally commit crimes against black people.

As I watch social media posts, there's been some genuine and some surface leveled expressions:
- I wonder how long will this last?
- Are the chants, marches, social media posts and declarations to 'stand' with African-American
  organizations truly sincere?
- Three months from now, will people go back to their previous behaviors of being concerned about
   self instead of 'standing' with African-Americans who have historically suffered in this country?

In terms of my job as a library media specialist, working in the K-12 schoolhouse:
- Will I ever be respected by educators as a African-American library media specialist who possesses skills beyond leading PD around race/equity, multicultural literature, management of student behavior?
- Will I ever be respected by educators as a African-American library media specialist who possesses skills of leadership, program administration, curriculum development and technology implementation?
- Will I ever be respected by educators as a African-American library media specialist that should be  given a seat at the table or do I have to buffalo my way in and bring the folding chair.  I shouldn't
   have to do this, I should automatically be invited.

At this point, I could care less if my colleagues respect me or not.  You will hear my voice more than ever before.  Racial microaggressions, implicit bias and lack of cultural competencies have run rampant in K-12 education way beyond Brown vs Board of Education and it's time for it to end.   In particular in the field of library information science (public, school, academic and special), it's totally out of control and on steroids.

I'm certain school districts across this country are amping up to provide some type of 'racial professional development,' this fall.  Books like 'The New Jim Crow, The Fire Next Time, White Fragility, Stamped, and Courageous Conversations About Race,' will probably be used.  My question
is:  Will educators really read, make an effort to understand and respond with sincere change?  Will that change positively change K-12 education in regards to education laws, policies, instruction, selection of curriculum and most importantly, treatment of African-American students?  Honestly, based on my previous experiences, unless school districts make these required readings mandatory not only in reading but also in action can change truly be achieved.   Our students social/emotional welfare, rights to an equal and a just American education system are of utmost importance now than ever before.

So to my new followers on social media, I celebrate the beauty, achievements and history of the African-American community 365 days of the year on my social media platforms.  My posts will confuse and anger you....either learn or get over yourself, I'm not changing anything for your comfort.  If you can't handle my views, don't follow me on social media.

Right now, my spirit is weary and hurt. Historically, I've always been the 'forever optimist,' hoping and sometimes praying that things will change for the better.  My mind is now run over with doubt and cynicism....this is a space I'm in that I don't like.   I'll get it together in time, listen to music, read and turn off the television.

I'll be back and will be better.  - K.C.

Additional Resources:
AASL Office Hours - May 14, 2020
Black Lives Matters Defund the Police Petition 

June 5, 2020

Ms Boyd’s Summer Reading List




🌟Stay tuned for additional reading lists from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
Until then, here’s my summer reading booklist: 
👉🏾📚
http://www.kcboyd.com/virtuallearninglibrary.html

#dcpsneedslibrarians #DCPSLibrariansChampionLiteracy #LibrarianLiteracyLeaders #dcpsreads

February 9, 2020

The 2020 Newbery Award Committee



I now present to you, the 2020 Newbery Award Committee!


For the past year and a half, I’ve committed myself to serving on the American Library Association’s, Newbery Award Committee. Each year, committee members are charged with selecting the very best in children’s literature.  It was a privilege to be on this committee and I was so proud to have served with such a distinguished, insightful, experienced and a professional group of librarians. Together we debated, listened, drew on our expertise and laughed. 


Our combined expertise in children’s and young adult literature was mighty powerful. Together we named the top books in children’s literature for 2020 (see the pictures). This hard work will go down in history impacting children for years to come. That alone makes me shed tears of joy!  I’ve learned SO much from Krishna, Karen, Mary, Jenna, Julia, Soraya, Dr. Alpha, Dr. Petros (I will be Dr. one day!) Beatriz, Deanna, Christopher, Sandy, Eileen and my cool dude Dennis (we had some good laughs)! It was a wonderful experience working with these professionals and a moment in my life I will never forget.


Easy Like Sunday Morning...Twitter Threads

Sharing some very early morning musings I shared on Twitter recently.  The following is a collection of frustrations school librarians often experience.  While some reflect first hand experiences, others are those from some of my peers within the field.  School librarians are still logging onto Twitter, viewing the thread and have been in 'amen corner.'  It's amazing how simple musings can spark discussion. 

School librarians often take these frustrations on the chin and work around these challenges.  It is when we convene together in meetings or private forums online do we share some of our inner most feelings.  Keep in mind, we are the only people within our buildings that have this unique experience and do not have a co-teacher who would totally understand what we are experiencing.  No one's challenges supersedes another within K-12 education,  ALL OF US STRUGGLE!   The goal of my tweets and this post is to provide a little window into the life of a school librarian.  #SchoolLibrarianStruggleBus















January 12, 2020

Easy Like Sunday Morning: Dr. MLK and His Influence on the Civil Rights Movement


...and so we begin.  Lessons, activities and displays  that celebrate #MLK and ‘A Day On, Not A Day Off,’ D.C. events.   *All books that appear in the picture have a copyright date  prior to 2019.  My theme is:  Dr. MLK and His Influence on the Civil Rights Movement. 


Check out the following website for more resources 👉🏾https://www.nationalservice.gov/serve-your-community/mlk-day-service 




Dr. King’s Birthday also represents my schools’s kick off of Black History Month celebrations.  Here’s two programs that have been scheduled so far.  








December 27, 2019

Watch Us In 2020!

Jefferson Academy students began their training using 35mm cameras, the @DoInkTweets app & building worlds in MineCraftEducation before winter break.  Watch our students in 2020, their digital projects will amaze you!😎   Our Makerspace will be lit! 🔥