Community Connection

Kimberly celebrates with the Friendship Nine at the Five & Dine lunch counter on the 54th anniversary of their protest that initiated “Jail, No Bail.” Photo by Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito.
Community Connection

The Power of Writing to Right History

by Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito

In our January issue, we brought you the backstory of how a children’s book author prompted a new day in court for a group of civil rights activists known as the Friendship Nine, half a century after they served jail time for attempting to sit at a whites-only lunch counter in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Due to the overwhelming response from our readers, this month we bring you coverage of the historical events that followed. […]

Civil rights activist David Boone, left, who took part in 1960s sit-ins, and Friendship Nine members Clarence Graham, James Wells, Willie McCleod, and W.T. “Dub” Massey, meet with author Kimberly Johnson, second from right, at the former McCrory’s store, now the Five and Dine restaurant, in downtown Rock Hill.
Community Connection

Children’s Book Honors Friendship Nine

by Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito

Fifty-four years after they went to jail for sitting at a whites-only lunch counter in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the eight surviving members of the Friendship Nine are returning to court to have their convictions vacated. Their new day in court came in no small measure from a children’s book, No Fear For Freedom: The Story of the Friendship 9, and the efforts of its author, Kimberly Johnson. “These men were treated as criminals, but they’re not,” she says. “What they did is really powerful and right.” […]

Books On Wings Helps Kids Take Flight
Community Connection

Books On Wings Helps Kids Take Flight

by Naomi Krueger

Books open doors to new cultures, time periods, and ecosystems. They also open doors to higher test scores and academic interests that could turn into careers. With the growing achievement gaps in US schools, educators and nonprofit organizations are working to put more books in the hands of early elementary children. Books On Wings donates books from teachers’ curriculum supplement wish lists, one for each student in the grade, to help at-risk students find a love of reading and learning. […]