“The Day after Spring Break” may not be on your must-read list, but it should be. This wonderful piece of written artistry caught my eye because reading is becoming a lost art. A loss that poor and minority communities can ill-afford. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven as much.
Aimee Lary and Bailey Cannon are a fun-loving dynamic mother-daughter duo who hail from the Lone Star State. Aimee graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a master’s degree in Counseling. For the past 8 years, she has served as an educator at both elementary and secondary levels.
Bailey is currently an ambitious and energetic fifth grader with a passion for dance. The pandemic has given them the space to reconnect with their love for children’s literacy. They share a belief that there is an author in all of us because everyone has a story to tell.
All it took was reading a brief description of this book written by a 10-year old and her mom.
“Change can be tough and stir up many different feelings, and change can bring about something new. Join an insightful elementary school student as she navigates her feelings and adjusts to the way the global pandemic changes her life; ultimately, teaching her that we’re stronger together.”
Talk about change! Some of us grew up in that era where our parents were so sure of our safety outside that they would lock the screen door after we walked out. That was your cue that it was time for them to get some rest and for you to get some exercise.
This lingering pandemic (because some of y’all won’t take a shot for the team) has locked our children in. The least they can do is exercise their minds by reading. Parents should both engage and encourage them to read more books.
Bailey sums up the sentiments of many children from age six to sixteen. “I was enjoying a spring break filled with fun family and friends in 3rd grade when everything changed.”
Not only does Bailey speak for millions of children, but she also shows some literary form far above her grade level. The use of the words “filled, fun, family and friends display her understanding of “alliteration.”
Alliteration is the “occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.” You may not have known the word, but if you grew up listening to great Black preachers, you have enjoyed it without knowing what it is.
Let me tell you what else Bailey has learned. As someone who has written a book, I can tell you that publishing is an entirely different animal beyond writing. Nowadays, you have to copyright your material, apply for an ISBN or scan code, set up a website, create a marketing strategy, and so much more.
Bailey is on the road to be- coming the next Maya Angelou or Gwendolyn Brooks. She is on the path toward entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency. We have done well to help our children understand that educational attainment is key to success, but the lock turns best when it belongs to you and not your boss.
Pastor Frederick Douglass Haynes III (a master of alliteration) often says that African- -Americans have to move from signing the back of the check to signing the front. That change will require that we establish and support enterprises in our own communities.
Dr. Haynes and the Friendship-West church congregation recently deployed a Facebook page entitled the “100 Days of Buying Black.” The campaign to encourage us spending money with us. The drive is to encourage you to buy from Black businesses every day through December 31. Aimee and Bailey are Black, and thereby they are a bonafide Black business.
The Day after Spring Break is a beautifully illustrated and well-written storybook that pa- rents and children of all races can enjoy together. Bailey and her mom Aimee are set to release another book, Matchless Mom soon, so start your collection today!
Buy Bailey’s Book Because (alliteration again) it is the right thing to do. Go to www.beejewelbooks.com or any participating bookseller today!
Vincent L. Hall is an author, activist, and an award-winning columnist.