Cool Boys Read, Inc.


Summer Reading Kickoff with Kevin Powell

Posted by Susan Herriott on June 17, 2016 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (41)

Today, June 11, is the Cool Boys Read summer kickoff. The author who spoke there was Kevin Powell. He wrote twelve books, including his new book, The Education of Kevin Powell. Kevin Powell is very inspiring. He is also very funny. Mr. Powell is like a comedian! He talked about believing you are a genius. He also talked about greatness and hip hop. I am going to be reading his new book over the summer. I bet that I will enjoy it.

Devon P.

Check the Rhyme: The Originals Rock the Mic

Posted by Susan Herriott on August 13, 2011 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

The Originals had a rap workshop on Thursday evening, and it was awesome! My brother Kavin conducted the session with the help of our friend Mieasia and a teenage volunteer, Andrew. It was a lot of fun! The boys spent the first part of the evening working together as a group. They chose a few of the vocabulary words I gave them at the beginning of the summer, put each one in a sentence or phrase, and then created a rhyme for the next line.

After that we had a freestyle circle. It was a riot! Too bad my rap was not recorded. It was a hoot! And parent Tamia O'Neal put down a vocal hook that had us jammin'! After warming up, the boys each wrote a short rap using some of their vocabulary words. Kavin pulled it all together by reciting a rap with eight of the vocabulary words and adding some freestyle lines at the end, demonstrating some lyrical skill and encouraging the boys to do well. I think the boys and the adults all really enjoyed this meeting where talent and intellect were in full effect!


We'll Have What He's Having!

Posted by Susan Herriott on July 22, 2011 at 11:41 AM Comments comments (3)

On Wednesday evening, my boys and I went to the Letter Rip meeting to talk about our presentation at the Harlem Book Fair and the submission process for our fourth book. After the meeting, we went inside the library so Amir could update his library reading log. The librarian mentioned that there was a book buddy there who could read to Amir. (Book buddies are older children, grades six and up, who sign up with the library to read to younger children.)


How happy I was to discover that the book buddy that evening was a young brother who will be in the seventh grade in the fall. With a little encouragement, Amir allowed the book buddy to read a book he was returning. Then he picked out a new book and had the book buddy read that to him too.


My heart was bursting to see this young boy acting as a literacy champion. I had to ask him a few questions, and here’s what I found:


  • He signed up for the program on his own because he really wanted to do it. He wanted to do it last year too, but at the time you had to be a rising seventh grader. He felt cheated when he learned that the library had lowered the grade requirement this year.
  • He’s enrolled in the library’s summer reading program but hasn’t been keeping up with the log. “I’ve read way more than I’ve put on my log,” he reported, sounding enthusiastic about the amount of reading he’s done.
  • He loves reading.
  • He doesn’t like writing as much, but he does keep a journal because “it’s important to remember what happened.”

Oh my goodness! I want to bottle this part of him and give it to all our boys. Well, in my own way, I really am trying to do that.


Parents, it’s OK if our boys aren’t completely self-motivated yet. If we keep encouraging them, we’re certainly planting the right seeds. So as we wait to see more of the fruits of our labor, I will delight in the memory of this young boy who has provided a glance at what our harvest might include: reading for pleasure, writing for personal benefit and volunteering to help others. Oh yes, we want that, too!


The Bolts and the Bee

Posted by Susan Herriott on June 28, 2011 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Move over Akeelah! The Lightning Bolts just had their first spelling bee, and it sounds like it was a hit!

Group Leader Lucria Ortiz was ecstatic about the results. Here's what she had to say:

Just wanted to report that the Spelling Bee was great!  We had 6 rounds where each player accumulated points for correct words, instead of an elimination bee.  The boys selected words for each other, and they were not easy.  Jaden and Malcolm tied to win the bee.  Some of the words spelled by our boys were "automobile," "material," "replacement," "reunion" and "adventures." 

The parents enjoyed this just as much as the boys, and I've decided to add a word of the day to the start of each of our meetings.

For me it's just so exciting to see all the Cool Boys actively and enthusiastically participating in activities that will help them retain or enhance their academic abilities.

School may be out, but learning is always in . . . especially when you make it fun. That's what Cool Boys Read(TM) is all about!


New Group Meets and Chooses Name: Letter Rip!

Posted by Susan Herriott on June 27, 2011 at 10:26 PM Comments comments (0)

The newest Cool Boys Read(TM) group had its first meeting this evening, and it was quite an event! These little guys started reading and logging on Saturday, and there are some powerhouses on the team! The older boys are going to have to make sure they keep their game up, or these little ones might put them to shame!

Two members of the Originals and one Rock Star went to the meeting to help explain the Cool Boys Read(TM) program to the new members and their parents. It was a very good discussion, and all the boys had fun playing together before AND after the meeting. They also enjoyed the treats that were provided by awesome Group Leader Iris Walls. The brownies were ridiculously good, and I heard the cake was too. Yum!!!!!

The boys also decided on a name for their team: Letter Rip!

Yeah, boys, let's go!!!!!

Originals' Kick-off Meeting

Posted by Susan Herriott on June 21, 2011 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

The Originals had a great first meeting tonight. It was funny because the boys kept making suggestions about things we could do . . . and most of their suggestions were already in the plans. It was great that we were all on the same page!

Believe me, this group has a lot on its plate, but some members still want more. Hey guys, let's get started first! Then we'll see if you really need more. LOL!

I can't wait to see what these guys accomplish. They're well seasoned in the reading program, but they have some new challenges this year. It should all be very interesting.

Rock Stars' Kick-off Meeting

Posted by Susan Herriott on June 20, 2011 at 9:12 PM Comments comments (0)

The Rock Stars had their kick-off meeting this evening and it was a great success. After hearing about the plans for this year, the boys were excited. They wanted the reading contests to start immediately. Don't worry, Rock Stars, Saturday will be here before you know it. But until then, keep reading!

After the meeting, the boys ran around and played. Parents were excited that their kids were engaging in some old-school fun, playing tag and duck-duck-goose!

We parents finally rounded up the kids and were ready to go, but the boys were eager to start making book selections. Those of us who had the time went into the library and let the boys choose some books. We were tired, but those boys were determined to get started.

It looks like it's going to be a great summer for the Rock Stars!

Special thanks to Khari who helped facilitate the meeting and provided structure and supervision during playtime.