Gallery 90 exhibit features local folk art quilts ‘Wrapped In Love’

— Team members and visitors of Hospice of the Chesapeake are feeling the comfort and caring of an annual exhibit of a meticulous and generous art form by a special group of people in the community.

Gallery 90, the art gallery located throughout the nonprofit’s administrative building on the John & Cathy Belcher Campus, 90 Ritchie Highway in Pasadena, will feature “Wrapped in Love,” an exhibit of some of the many lap quilts created and donated by individuals and guilds to bring comfort to patients in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties.

Local quilting circles have provided hundreds of quilts with a patriotic theme to give to Veterans as part of Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Honor Salutes over the past several years. They also have crafted quilts for its other patients, including whimsically themed quilts for pediatric patients.

Of the 12 quilts gracing the walls through June 20, one will see works by the Down’s Park Quilting Club, Friendship Quilters, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church Quilters, Great Circle Quilting Club and Cathie Logie. Other guilds regularly donating to patients include Comfort Quilters, Eternal Quilters and St. Paul Lutheran Church of Crofton Quilters. One guild that crochets afghans is Patterns of Faith.

A quilters’ reception will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, June 8, 2018. To register for the reception, or to schedule a private, docent-led tour of the exhibit, contact Renate Little at 443-837-1512 or

Comcast NBCUniversal awards scholarships to 101 Maryland students

— Comcast NBCUniversal has awarded approximately $110,000 in scholarships for the 2018-19 school year to 101 Maryland students as part of its annual Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship Program.

The program, funded by the Comcast Foundation, is a one-time, $1,000 scholarship awarded to the best and brightest high school seniors for their community service, academic performance and leadership skills. Since 2001, more than $28 million has been awarded to nearly 27,000 high school seniors across the country as part of the Leaders and Achievers Program.

“All of our Leaders and Achievers Scholarship winners show a strong commitment to their communities and academic achievement,” said Mary McLaughlin, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Beltway Region. “We are honored to recognize their accomplishments and look forward to supporting them as they further their education.”

Comcast, joined by Bridgette Lundfelt, director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives; Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch; and other local elected officials and school administrators recognized the students at a special event held at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.

One student, Leah Swindler, a senior at Friendly High School in Prince George’s County, was selected to receive an additional $10,000 Comcast Founders Scholarship, instituted in honor of Ralph J. Roberts, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Comcast Corporation.

“I want to congratulate each and every one of these exceptional students and recognize them for their impressive achievements,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “Comcast’s commitment to our children by investing in their educations is commendable and I am excited to follow these students’ journeys as they help shape the future of our state and our nation.”

The Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program provides scholarships to students who strive to achieve their full potential, who are catalysts for positive change in their communities, who are involved in their schools, and who serve as models for their fellow students. The philosophy behind the program is to give young people every opportunity to prepare for the future and to engage them in their communities. The program also demonstrates the importance of civic involvement, and the value placed on civic involvement by the business community.

For more information about Comcast’s Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship Program, visit: news-information/news-feed/recognizing-the-best-and-brightest-nationwide.

World Premiere of ‘SOUL The Stax Musical’ generates sell-outs, rave revues

— The world premiere of “SOUL The Stax Musical” has generated the excitement and applause that creative producers envisioned upon conceiving the historical musical production.

SOUL Stax Musical effectively tells the exciting-but-dramatic story of the legendary Memphis recording studio’s existence from 1957-1975.

The original studio (Satellite Records) was located in the heart of Memphis’ black community in the 900 block of Mclemore Avenue in Shelby County, Tennessee. What was then, a hotbed for attracting the city’s talented young black artists during that era, Stax easily rivaled Motown’s Northern Soul recording success in Detroit.

Having visited the actual Stax Museum of American Soul Music recently, this writer has a close affinity to the Stax 1950s successful business model, especially in the wake of Jim Crowism and devout racism that existed in the South during the record company’s heyday.

The play stays close to history, while depicting the ups and downs of the company’s business decisions, primarily made by sister-brother owners Jim Stewart (Robert Lenzi) and Estelle Axton (Mary Jo Mecca) and co-owner, Al Bell aka Alvertis Isbell (Warner Miller). Stewart and Axton’s surnames comprised the acronym STAX. Lenzi, Mecca and Miller were outstanding performers throughout the entire show.

In the lobby after the play, Baltimore natives, bassist Mark Russell and guitarist Matt Kruft credited Musical Director Rahn Coleman for comprising a singularly soulful unit of live musicians.

Boise Holmes plays

Boise Holmes plays “Black Moses” also known as Isaac Hayes.

The seven-piece band including three horns had a remarkable big-band sound and performed with the real-life dexterity of the original musicians. Respectfully, the cast depicted Stax stars like Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas his daughter Carla Thomas, Wilson Pickett, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, The Staple Singers, Booker T. (Jones) & The MGs with drummer Al Jackson Jr., bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn and guitarist Steve Cropper. Memphis Horns members Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love were conspicuously unmentioned in the play.

Chicago native Harrison White, was a show-stopper in his role as Rufus “Funky Chicken” Thomas, the “world’s oldest teenager.” After the play, White noted that rehearsals commenced “about six months ago” – helping to qualify why the entire performance was so spectacular.

SOUL The Stax Musical is Baltimore Center Stage’s final play of the 2017/18 Season.

My only criticism of the play is the awkward, unexplained entrance of composer David Porter, the co-writer of several Isaac Hayes’hits including “Soul Man” for Sam & Dave.

Although Sam & Dave were mentioned throughout the production, it was unclear who actually portrayed the energetic duo— at one point it seemed as though Isaac Hayes’ and David Porter’s characters played their roles. For the record, Sam & Dave were Sam Moore and the late Dave Prater.

Moore still occasionally performs, having sung for President Barack Obama for a soul music-homage television special. Al Bell, now 78, still lives in the Memphis area.

Sam & Dave were originally signed to Atlantic Records by producer Jerry Wexler, but recorded major hits for Stax from ’65 to ’68, and achieved the bulk of their success while with the Memphis-based firm.

Director Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE and choreographer Chase Brock must be credited for lending their extraordinary talents to create such a magnificent production. The play was adapted from a book written by Matthew Benjamin. If the Great White Way of Broadway is the producer’s goal, then without a doubt that’s exactly where this show is headed.

Soul The Stax Musical runs through Sunday, June 10, 2018 at Baltimore Center Stage located at 700 North Calvert Street in the Mount Vernon Cultural District in Baltimore City. For tickets, call: 410-332-0033 or visit:

Fayette Street Outreach: An Organization with a Mind to Work

— Nehemiah 4:6 (KJV) says “So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.”

This scripture fits members of Fayette Street Outreach (FSO), an organization formed in 1993 to address the needs of the residents of the community. For these members have set their minds on working together to rebuild their community.

“FSO started in my mom’s house with about seven residents who wanted to make a change in the community,” said Edna Manns-Lake, President and Founder of Fayette Street Outreach, “Around that time, drug traffic had a heavy presence in our community. We soon developed a comprehensive community program. We boarded up houses, sponsored beautification projects, and worked with the police to identify drug hot spots. We conducted community clean-ups and established an after-school program with Boyd-Booth, another community association north of us.”

She added, “We marched the drug dealers off the corner. The dealers sat and looked at us and realized we weren’t going anywhere.”

According to Manns-Lake, FSO encompasses the areas of Mulberry Street, Monroe Street, Gwynns Falls Parkway and Warwick Avenue. She said the organization wanted to ‘build’ on their success by having its own building of brick and mortar.

“God blesses the child who has their own,” she said. “We wanted our own building.”

And, like those referenced in Nehemiah 4:6, the members of FSO had to overcome seemingly insurmountable circumstances in order to build. And like Nehemiah and his workers, they were victorious.

FSO recently held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for their new building slated to open this year. Located at 29 N. Smallwood Street, the facility will include a Multi-Purpose Room, kitchen, Conference Room, and other areas. Computer, Art & Music, Mentoring, STEM, and Food Desert Awareness are among the programs that will be offered.

“Fayette Street Outreach is looking to make a difference,” said the building’s contractor William Tates. “I have watched the footprints of Fayette Street Outreach in this community, and they are consistently doing what it takes to make it work.”

He added, “They brought me in, and I was happy to be a part. We are saving souls one project at a time. Our goal is to grab the ones that don’t get an opportunity to go to college. Someone invested in me and that’s why I am here today.”

Tates, who is Manager of A&W Helping Hands, LLC, said he is looking to turn youth away from the lure of the drug trade by teaching them the tools of his contracting trade.

“I want to teach them basic skills because they will never be hungry,” said Tates. “We want to exercise all avenues to push these kids. My blueprint did not say I would be what I am today. But God had another plan. I probably would be a drug dealer, addict or dead. We come from the same swamp. We look just like these kids. But we are representing change. Their yesterdays don’t dictate their todays.”

Sterling Brunson is Treasurer of FSO.

“We work with the community so they can embrace themselves,” said Brunson. “There is a generational wealth gap in this area. We want to teach residents how to save money and reinvest in their community. We want to give people the opportunity to live and thrive in this community. We also give away food and produce. We don’t want to give handouts, but give people a leg up. Teaching people to be self-sufficient is the end goal.”

According to Timothy Bridges, Vice President of FSO, funding for the building was provided by a HUD grant, political allies, and other support.

“We developed these relationships and partnerships and was able to do this work with God’s help and somebody else’s resources”, said Bridges. “We are very adamant about having a place that youth and seniors can come and receive experiences that will be life-changing. Many of our citizens have a felony and can’t get a job. But locking people up won’t help us out of our situation.”

Bridges noted some of FSO’s community builders.

“We had a lot of people invest in our community such as Joy Bramble and Neal Muldrow,” said Bridges, referencing Baltimore Times Publisher Joy Bramble and businessman and Baltimore Times consultant Ackneil M. Muldrow II. “It shows the possibility of what can happen. We are in the mode that the sky is limit. There is nothing we can’t accomplish if we don’t put God first and set our minds on what we can do.”

For more information about FSO call (443) 708-5283.

Swim Healthy—Stay Healthy: Raising Awareness during National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

— Baltimore— National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week runs May 21-27, the week leading up to Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer. The Secretaries of Maryland’s Departments of Health, the Environment, and Natural Resources encourage all Marylanders to take note of swimming safety tips to ensure a safe and healthy swimming experience—no matter where they swim.

“With Memorial Day approaching, many Marylanders will be heading to the pool or the beach,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert R. Neall. “We’re reminding Marylanders to keep swimming safety in mind to prevent injuries and drownings. We want everyone to swim healthy and stay healthy all year.”

“The Department of the Environment partners with state agencies and local governments to make a day at the beach a fun and healthy time for Maryland families,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “Beach conditions are monitored from Western Maryland lakes to the Ocean City surf, with updated information readily available on the Maryland Healthy Beaches website and through smartphone apps. We also urge everyone to follow the website’s do’s and don’ts for swimmers to stay healthy and waters to keep clean.”

“Maryland’s beautiful waters delight millions of people all summer, whether in the Atlantic surf, Chesapeake tides or cold mountain rivers.” Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “It’s important to remember that water is also a potentially dangerous force of nature, and it’s essential to follow the rules of swimming safety.”

Swimming is one of Maryland’s most popular sporting and leisure activities. This year’s campaign will increase awareness of the simple things people can do to prevent the most common and serious health and safety risks associated with recreational water activities—drownings and injuries, sunburns and potential infections:

Never swim alone; always be aware of young children’s activities and whereabouts; use swim vests on all young children at the beach and for weaker swimmers in pools; reapply sunscreen frequently throughout the day; drink plenty of fluids; don’t swallow pool or beach water; change children’s diapers often to minimize the risk of contaminating water; don’t swim when you have diarrhea, or if you have open skin wounds or infections; stay out of the water if it has a strange color; use bug spray; learn how to avoid and to escape rip currents; for pool owners, follow package directions when using pool chemicals; and save contact information for emergency personnel in your cell phone.

It is easy to stay safe and healthy while enjoying the water. We urge you to keep your family healthy and safe this summer season, so you can enjoy all that Maryland’s recreational waters have to offer.

For more information, call the Maryland Department of Health’s Environmental Health Helpline at 1-866-703-3266, or email You also can find current information on Maryland’s beaches on the Healthy Beaches website. Additional information is available on the Department’s Safe and Healthy Swimming site.

Graduation is just the first hurdle

— Marvel’s “Black Panther,” Chadwick Boseman, graduated from Howard University with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (BFA) in 2000. On May 12, 2018, Boseman returned to his alma mater to address the Class of 2018, while receiving an honorary degree.

The Howard University graduation is one of more than 100 Historically Black College and University graduations and one of more than 4,000 general graduations across the country.

On May 5, 2018, White House Correspondent April Ryan, brought down the house at Bennett College in North Carolina. In Arkansas on the same day, journalist and political commentator Sophia Nelson made lasting remarks during the Philander Smith College commencement exercise.

All across the nation, families are gathering, people are celebrating and graduations are being hailed as an occasion of joy.

However, despite these many festivities, if you are a black American who graduated from the University of Florida (UF), your achievements may have been marred by the horrible memory of faculty marshals physically pushing you off of the stage, after you decided to celebrate your black Greek (fraternity) pride, with the execution of a few “steps.”

More than 20 students were assaulted by an unidentified faculty member (although some say he is a chemistry lecturer), who is now on paid leave.

Why would the university continue to pay someone who seems to have differentially attacked black students, as apparently no white students were assaulted or pushed off of the stage?

This lecturer is a menace to society and college students, who should not be exposed to his racism, either on stage or in a classroom.

According to The New York Times, UF President W. Kent Fuchs apologized to the affected students and left a personal message of apology on Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity member Oliver Telusma’s voicemail, due to the incident.

However, from where I sit, President Fuchs should track that student down along with all of the others and visit them face-to-face.

The UF incident reminds black students that graduation is but one of the many hurdles they must clear.

Every day, every single day, they face the possibility of pernicious racism, differential treatment, and the threat of law enforcement to compel compliance with the most foolish of laws and norms, spoken or unspoken.

That’s why Holly Hylton, the white woman who managed a Philadelphia Starbucks, felt free to call the police on two black men after they had been seated, without ordering anything.

That’s why a hysterical white female bigot, called the police on a black man, who was barbecuing in a public park in Oakland, California, where barbecuing is customary.

That’s why the police were called on three black women (and a white man), because they failed to wave or smile when they exited an Airbnb in Rialto, California, and were detained for 45 minutes despite possessing proof that they had reserved their space.

That’s why the police wrestled a 25-year-old black woman to the ground (exposing her bare breasts) in an Alabama Waffle House, after she asked for plastic cutlery and an ignorant employee reportedly said, “she did not know her place,” and the beat goes on and on and on.

The police are too often called to put black people in their place, to force them to comply, to reinforce the tenet of white supremacy; the notion that when we see a white person, we must shuck and jive and smile. So-called law enforcement officers become servants of racism, who want us in our place.

I want the graduates to know that their place is everyplace.

Class of 2018, your place is in that Starbucks at the table, order or not. Your place is in that Waffle House, getting the utensils you requested. Your place is at the lake in Oakland, burning those bones on your grill. Your place is on that stage at UF.

Resistance has a high price. Who wants to go to jail and end up, like Sandra Bland, whose mysterious death in Texas still has not been solved? Who wants to be handcuffed, humiliated, exposed and maligned, just for asking a simple question?

Starbucks will close thousands of stores to the tune of millions of dollars for unconscious bias training but who will train these biased police officers and the racists who call them, because their feelings are bruised when no one waves at them?

The Class of 2018 will learn, as have millions of other black Americans, that racism is alive and well.

They’ve cleared a hurdle with graduation, but even as some cross the stage, they are being reminded that there are many more hurdles to clear, to survive in our unfortunately racist nation.

Perhaps though, the Class of 2018 will be among those to dismantle the racist hurdles; and perhaps in the process of clearing other hurdles— graduate and professional school, marriage and children, artificial intelligence and gentrification— they will also find the wherewithal to eliminate racial barriers to success.

Julianne Malveaux is an author, economist and founder of Economic Education. For more information, visit her Follow Dr. Malveaux on Twitter @drjlastword.

Baltimore Ravens finally have Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson together at OTAS

— There is a beginning and an end to everything. Joe Flacco took over as the Baltimore Ravens quarterback years ago and helped to deliver a Super Bowl win in 2012.

The magical run that Flacco and the Ravens went on resulted in a huge contract that made him the highest paid player in the NFL. Unfortunately, the deal made it difficult for the Ravens to make significant additions to the offense.

Over the last few seasons, Flacco and the Ravens have struggled. The writing was clearly on the wall that Flacco was going to have to be replaced eventually. As the offense sputtered, the need for a jolt became more evident— enter former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Jackson, a Heisman Trophy winner in 2016, is exactly what the Ravens offense need. He is a dynamic playmaker who adds an explosive element.

Having Jackson and Flacco in the building at the same time will be a first for the Ravens.

Flacco has not truly had any competition since he has been in Baltimore. The likes of Ryan Mallett and others have not been able to challenge him. However, that will change when Jackson takes the field this week.

As a first-round pick, the pressure will be on to get Jackson on the field. The coaching staff is in a good place with him having worked with the likes of Colin Kaepernick and Michael Vick in the past.

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg worked with Vick in Philadelphia. The same can be said for quarterbacks coach James Urban.

Greg Roman was the offensive coordinator with Kaepernick in San Francisco. They all know how to properly manage a quarterback with the versatile skill set that Jackson possesses.

Now, it will come down to how they go about integrating Jackson into the game plan. It won’t be easy since his skill set is vastly different from that of Flacco.

Fortunately, they also have Robert Griffin III in place to help mentor Jackson. It doesn’t seem like Flacco is interested in doing so and to be honest, it’s not his obligation to help bring along the guy who is going to replace him.

Flacco will cost the Ravens $24.7 million against the salary cap this year and the number jumps to $27 million in 2019. At some point, they will have to pull the plug and let him move on. They’ will suffer a $16 million hit in dead money if they do so next year.

In the meantime, Flacco will push to keep his job and try to find the magic that allowed him to have such a successful playoff run in 2012 but time is of the essence. Head coach John Harbaugh’s years with the team may be running short. There is a lot of pressure to win now in Baltimore. It all starts with OTAs this week.

Keeping the Legacy Alive with Kenneth Morris: Banneker-Douglass Museum partners with St. John’s College

— Banneker-Douglass Museum recently joined with the Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation; Four Rivers: The Heritage of Annapolis, London Town, and South County; Lost Town Project; Anne Arundel County Office of Planning and Zoning; and St. John’s College to host Keeping the Legacy Alive, a lecture presented by Kenneth Morris. Kenneth Morris, a descendant of noted civil rights leaders Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, discussed how Frederick Douglass’ legacy has inspired his life and contributed to his work as a social activist. The event comes in celebration of the Year of Frederick Douglass, which commemorates the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of the renowned abolitionist and Maryland native.

“The Banneker-Douglass Museum remains committed to keeping the legacy and spirit of Frederick Douglass and other noted civil rights leaders vibrant in our communities through the promotion and preservation of Maryland’s rich African American History and Culture,” said Chanel Compton, Director of the Banneker-Douglass Museum and Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture. “We appreciate the continued work of individuals like Kenneth Morris to inspire new generations of socially-conscious Marylanders who are dedicated to making an impact in the world around them.”

Kenneth Morris currently serves as the co-founder and President of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives. He is the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great-grandson of Booker T. Washington. Through the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, Kenneth Morris has worked to educate youth on all forms of forced servitude – including human trafficking – and to inspire action. In celebration of the Year of Frederick Douglass, the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives announced the One Million Abolitionist project, a partnership with various organizations – including Banneker Douglass Museum – to distribute one million copies of a special Bicentennial edition of Frederick Douglass’s first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, to young people across the United States.

In early February, Governor Larry Hogan issued a proclamation declaring 2018 as the “Year of Frederick Douglass.” In celebration, the Banneker-Douglass Museum has partnered with various organizations to host educational seminars, celebrations, and events across the state. To see a full list of events visit:

New ‘Religious Freedom’ appointee is a religious bigot

The newest addition to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, Tony Perkins, does not believe in religious freedom.

Perkins, who was appointed to the post by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), will now serve on a commission that supposedly serves as a watchdog “dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad,” even though he has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not believe in the equal protection of Muslims and others.

The commission has a long history of politicization, along with anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT bias. Perkins’ inclusion will only continue to undermine its credibility.

While he claims to support religious freedom, Perkins believes that the Constitution does not protect the rights of Muslims.

He has said that “those who practice Islam in its entirety” should not be afforded the same constitutional freedoms as other Americans since Islam, in his words, is “incompatible with the Constitution” — an obviously false claim that, in reality, flies in the face of our Constitution. He even goes so far as to make the absurd and bizarre claim that “only 16 percent of Islam is a religion.”

A top official of his organization, the Family Research Council, once called for a ban on mosques, and the group published an essay arguing that Islam is not really a religious faith but rather “a religious government, the establishment of which the Establishment Clause prohibits.” This is clearly nonsensical. He has also smeared and vilified Muslims as violent people and claimed that the U.S. is under no obligation to safeguard their rights.

Beyond Muslims, Perkins has also questioned whether Christians who support marriage equality and members of “fringe religions” should have the same rights under the Constitution as those who follow his personal brand of Christianity. He has also criticized supporters of the First Amendment’s separation of church and state as “cultural terrorists.”

Perkins’ appalling record doesn’t end there, as he is also known for his vicious bigotry towards the LGBT community.

He has called transgender identity a “perversion” and had a role in shaping the Trump administration’s ban on transgender military service members, insisting that it would be “better” to disband the military altogether rather than allow transgender people to serve.

He once praised legislation in Uganda that would have included heinous punishments for homosexuality, including the death penalty, as an effort to “uphold moral conduct” and warned that marriage equality would lead to a revolution and second holocaust.

A commission that ostensibly acts as a fair-minded monitor that calls out other countries for endangering liberties can’t have much standing if one of its own members is actively working to undermine it.

Brian Tashman is a Political Researcher and Strategist for the ACLU

How to encourage your kids to read and learn this summer

— Summer, is almost here and that means a break from school for so many students. This is the perfect time to encourage them to read a good book— just for the fun of it.

“That doesn’t mean your children can’t learn a thing or two from an engaging novel, such as: Hidden Figures, The Drum of Destiny, or Like a River,” said David Bruce Smith, co-founder of the Grateful American Book Prize.

The titles Smith suggests are past winners of the Grateful American Book Prize, and they are appropriate for young readers. They are also griping page-turners that your kids won’t be able to put down. Most importantly, adolescents will learn life lessons without knowing it. These books are about America’s history; the space program; the struggle for equality; how the U.S. won its independence; and the grit of the younger generation during the Civil War.

Neme Alperstein is a teacher of gifted and talented students, and a member of the Panel of Judges for the Book Prize.

“We older folks might prefer the feel of a hardcover or paperback for a good read, but our kids rather download their books onto their electronic devices to enjoy these historically accurate novels. After all, we are well into the digital age. Either way you’ll be putting your child on the path to becoming a productive student, and ultimately a responsible citizen.”

According to Alperstein, many libraries allow students to check books out for the summer—in print and digital versions.

“eBooks are available in libraries across the country. The range of formats available is intended to expand interest. For those on the go, recordings are available through the use of various apps, and local librarians will know which those are, and [will] even help with installing them on mobile devices. You can also search online for free reading apps. And, you needn’t worry about overdue books because digital library books just disappear from your device on the due date— and can be easily renewed,” she said.

You can download books for free or purchase directly from services such as Amazon. Ask your local librarian to suggest digital resources. Kanopy, for example, has a huge selection of eBooks that can be accessed at no charge by using your library card.

“I’m partial to American history related literature, so looking up titles is easy enough using the search term “American history novel” or “American history literature.” The books may not appear free on the list one finds; a local librarian can then assist in finding the eBook you’re looking for in a library elsewhere in the country,” said Alperstein.

Smith and the late Dr. Bruce Cole, a former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, established the Grateful American Book Prize as a way to encourage authors and publishers to produce more books of historical fiction and nonfiction for young learners. Author/publisher submissions of qualifying books for the 2018 Prize will be accepted until July 31, 2018.