Celebrate Black History with a Reading Challenge Perfect for Black History Month or Anytime of Year
Updated: Jan 30
What: Black History Reading Challenge
When: February 1-28
How: Free download
Why: Celebrate and Learn Black History
Each February, people in the United States celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black people in history during Black History Month. We're celebrating with a Reading Challenge complete with prizes!
How it started
In 1915, in response to the lack of information on the accomplishments of Black people available to the public, historian Carter G. Woodson co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. In 1926, the group declared the second week of February as “Negro History Week” to recognize the contributions of African Americans to U.S. history. Few people studied Black history and it wasn't included in textbooks prior to the creation of Negro History Week.
The week-long event officially became Black History Month in 1976 when U.S. president Gerald Ford extended the recognition to “honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Black History Month has been celebrated in the United States every February since. (via National Geographic Kids)
Do you immerse yourself in Black history year round? We sure do! However, we revel in the excitement surrounding Black History Month and use it as a time to celebrate the achievements of Black people and spread more awareness to events that have been forgotten or tried to be erased from history.
In previous years, we've participated in a Reading Blackout, committing to only reading and sharing books by Black authors and illustrators. This year, we'll be highlighting picture book biographies as a way to celebrate Black achievements in history. We've also created an easy and fun challenge for everyone to enjoy. We worked with several educators to create a simple, but impactful list of prompts for each of the 28 days of Black History Month.
Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history. – Carter G. Woodson
The Black History Reading Challenge is a fun way to celebrate Black History in February or anytime of year. It features a wide variety of people and events and opportunities to read books by Black authors and illustrators.
PARTICIPATING IS EASY
Download the free printables
Read a book and color the printable each day
(Optional) Post your participation throughout the week to for a chance to win prizes
Each day during Black History Month, read a book that follows the theme of the day and color in one book until the whole printable is complete. If you want to skip around (for example read day 10 on day 3) feel free to do what works. Just be sure to mark it off the list so you'll know you've completed the task.
YOU MIGHT WIN PRIZES TOO: (We're giving away FOUR - $25 GIFT CARDS!)
1. SHARE A PICTURE of your family participating in the challenge (reading the book, singing lyrics, watching a video about one of the themes etc.) Share as much or as little of your child's face as you and your child feel comfortable. You may also simply share the book you're reading.
3. WE'LL RANDOMLY PICK A WINNER each Saturday in February (Feb 6, 13, 20, and 27). We'll scour Instagram and Facebook for posts that tag @helpingkidsrise. We'll pick one winner (weekly) for a $25 gift card to Amazon or Bookshop (winner's choice).
NOTE: Weekly entries must be posted/shared by Friday of each week in order to qualify for that week's giveaway. Each person may only win once. Must have a valid email address for us to sent the gift card to. Winner must claim prize within 48 hours. Updates/changes to these rules are at the sole discretion of Helping Kids Rise.
If you need book recommendations throughout the challenge, we've created several curated lists in our online Bookshop store to assist you. No need to purchase all of the books though, there are several other ways to get your hands of books. We've created some tips for finding free or inexpensive books.
Here are a few of my book lists that might be helpful in choosing books 28 Amazing Picture Book Biographies By Black Authors More Picture Book Biography Recommendations Children's Books By African American Authors/Illustrators
Make sure you're following us on Instagram, where we'll be sharing picture book biographies all month to celebrate Black people's achievements and contributions to history.
Looking for more great books? Join our community of over 20,000 BOOK LOVERS on Instagram.
Tap the phone below to follow and discover great books