Elementary teacher uses Instagram to inspire her students with diverse literature

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As the daughter of a Black father and Irish mother, Jessica Brevard growing up did not see book characters that represented her.

Now as a second-grade teacher at Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School, Brevard is committed to sharing diverse literature with her young readers to ensure they feel represented. Ever since school buildings unexpectedly closed in March, Brevard has used her Instagram account to share diverse book recommendations with her young readers and their families. She now has more than 4,000 followers.

“Diverse literature is a stepping stone to creating lifelong readers and lifelong learners. If you can see yourself in the main character of a story or you can see yourself in a situation that’s happening in the story, then that creates that love of reading and fosters an intrinsic motivation to become a better reader,” Brevard said. “In turn, that increases vocabulary and increases confidence in a child to want to read and to want to be successful, and that’s what we all want for our scholars and our children.”

Brevard’s Instagram page can be found @ms.brevards.bruins.

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