Revere club plans to diversify reading material

Revere+club+plans+to+diversify+reading+material

Lily Oelschlager

Lily Oelschlager, Reporter

Two Revere High School students are founding a club for Diversify Our Narrative, a branch of recent racial justice movements that aims to reform classroom reading materials, at Revere High School.

The Diversify Our Narrative club and movement strives to help bring greater awareness to all cultures. By providing more diverse materials for students, young people will be more exposed to different cultures. Senior Sarisha Mahajan explained the goals of the club.

“The movement strives to bring a more complete history and a greater cultural awareness to students,” Mahajan said.
Junior Sanchita Chandran contacted her about forming a club for the movement, which both students initially encountered on social media.

“Forming a club would allow more practical meetings and better communication with the administration,” Chandran said.

A Diversify Our Narrative club would extend past reading material. Chandran mentioned events such as Asian Pacific Heritage Month and Black History Month.

“It would [also serve to] raise awareness during [those] times,” Chandran said.

Introducing more diverse texts into our curriculum would encourage Revere students to understand other people regardless of their cultural background. Mahajan explained the importance of diverse texts in classrooms.

“We live in a small, suburban town, [that is] majority white. . . [students need to] recognize opinions outside our bubble. A greater understanding of each other’s experiences will connect us all,” Mahajan said.

Mahajan referred to the short story “When Mr. Pirzada Came To Dine” written by Jhumpa Lahiri about the experiences of a young Pakistani girl, that she had read in Mr. Hayes’ 10th grade Honors English class. Mahajan explained what it meant to her.

“It was similar to my culture, and it felt good to see that. That will be good for all kids; it helps you feel seen,” Mahajan said.

Chandran echoed the sentiment.

“It would help to see people like me in literature. People should recognize that this isn’t about themselves, but it will impact those around you,” Chandran said.

Principal Philip King shared his thoughts on making changes to reading materials.

“Our English department does a strong vetting of what’s read in class,They choose things relevant to today,” King said.

While he has not received many complaints about syllabi, it is important that students continue to find new ways for Revere to educate their students so that teachers can provide meaningful experiences.

In terms of a Diversify Our Narrative Club,“It’s important that students show their interests… We are always open to suggestions; we want to include kids as much as possible,” King said.