Celebrating Literacy with Youth in Your Community: Read Across America All Year Long

In celebration of Read Across America, the ALA Literacy Assembly is hosting a webinar to highlight the work of librarians who are bringing communities together for shared literacy experiences all year long.

Angela Falkenberg, Verity Sturm, and Liliana Garcia will share a collaborative project between Washington, DC Public Schools and DC Public Library, which focused on the intersection of literacy, recreation, and community.

Chari Kauffman will discuss North Shore Middle School’s (TX) Noche de Cuentos program, which brings community members together to engage in culturally affirming oral storytelling and literacy activities.

Christina Chatel and Staci Vought will share Boulan Park and Smith Middle Schools’ (Troy, MI) Troybery Literature Award and Author Blitz and the Troy Athens High School Battle of the Books program, including student-led book reviews and selections.


Angela Falkenberg is a school librarian with experience in K-12 public schools in Washington, DC and metro Atlanta. With a focus on school librarian advocacy, city-wide literacy initiatives, and equity in education, she serves as the Vice President / President-Elect for the District of Columbia Library Association (DCLA) and was the Director for the School Library Section of DCLA.

Verity Sturm is a children's librarian at the DC Public Library. Her work is focused on community collaborations, harm reduction, and empowering kids.

Liliana Garcia is library associate at DC Public Library. She has experience working in education. She is passionate about outreach and working with the Latinx community.

Chari Kauffman is a librarian at North Shore Middle School in Houston, Texas. Now in her sixth year as a librarian, she's known in her district for being the "grant queen." Her passions include: sharing her love of reading with students, Intellectual Freedom, and creativity expressed through technology.

Christina Chatel is in her 10th year as a media specialist at Boulan Park and Smith Middle Schools in Troy and received the Roger Ashley Freedom to Read Award in 2022 from the Michigan Association for School Librarians. Prior to being a school librarian, Christina taught high school English for 10 years.

Staci Vought is in her 12th year as a media specialist at Troy Athens High School in Troy, Michigan. She was an English teacher at the same high school for 7 years prior to that. She obtained her MLS degree from Wayne State University in 2009.