Guilford Co. adding more books highlighting African-American culture

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- From biographies to fiction, Guilford County elementary schools are adding more books highlighting African-American culture to its reading lists through the African-American male initiative.

"It creates that self-image in them that's very positive," said Eric Hines, director of Diversity and Inclusion for Guilford County schools.

Hines created the program two years ago to help young African-American males improve in reading.

By the end of the last school year, 77 percent of Guilford County students from kindergarten to third grade had mastered reading skills. That number dropped to 68 percent for African- American males.

"What we were doing up to this point wasn't truly working," Hines said.

"We make sure all our students are getting what they need," said Lisa Trigg, a third grade teacher at Sumner Elementary school. "We want to make sure we fill in all the gaps for everybody."

It’s an initiative Trigg says so far seems to be working in her class.

"I have never seen kids so excited to read about people," Trigg said. "We want them to be able to relate to what they're reading."