Teacher releases new book series to create relatable literature for students
One middle school teacher in Co-op City has changed the reading curriculum for his students by releasing his own book series.
The Freedom Runner series, written by CEO and author Paul Darden, follows Dante Elliot, an African-American boy from New York City. The character travels back in time to the Civil War, where he meets people from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico all speaking in their native languages.
“I had a tough time finding relatable material that wasn’t reused or material that encompassed the diverse classroom that represented New York City,” said Darden.
The seven-book series has Dante Elliot encounter characters who speak Creole and Spanish, something that his Bronx students say helps them feel like they’re a part of history.
“It just makes me feel good knowing that my background… they are in this book,” said eighth-grader Amir Berry.