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L’il Freedom Seekers Story Time Helps Parents Navigate Hard History

June 11, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 11:30 am

Partnering with Underground Railroad Education Center, acclaimed children’s educators and teaching artists Mariah Ralph and Yahoteh Kokayi of Harlem School of the Arts will lead children and their parents or caregivers through 30 minutes of music and interactive fun exploring themes of freedom, race, and community to a lively beat. The program will center around an interactive reading of James Ransome’s ALA and Coretta Scott King award-winning book The Bell Rang and original freedom sing-along songs.

There’s never been a more important time to address issues of race and social justice, even with the youngest members of our society. By the time children reach the classroom, entrenched notions of society’s power structures are often already in place. Parents want to help undo racism, but knowing how to talk with their children about our nation’s history of slavery and its continued impact on our communities can be confounding.

“We hope to bring history to life and grow the next generation of social justice activists.” ~ UREC Board President Natalie Criscione


L’il Freedom Seekers Story Time (ages 3-5)

Thursday, June 11th, 11:00-11:30 ET via Zoom!

Register here:

This event is FREE to attend


New York City’s premier community arts institution, the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA), stands unique as the sole provider of arts education in music, dance, theatre, art & design and musical theatre, all within its award-winning 37,000 square foot facility.  The School’s reputation for artistic rigor and excellence attracts constituents of diverse socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds from all five New York City boroughs, Westchester County, Connecticut and New Jersey. HSA’s alumni and faculty are counted among the most talented leaders in the arts. Learn more about the Harlem School of the Arts.


About The Bell Rang

Recipient of a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award

A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2019

A young slave girl witnesses the heartbreak and hopefulness of her family and their plantation community when her brother escapes for freedom in this brilliantly conceived picture book by Coretta Scott King Award winner James E. Ransome.

Every single morning, the overseer of the plantation rings the bell. Daddy gathers wood. Mama cooks. Ben and the other slaves go out to work. Each day is the same. Full of grueling work and sweltering heat. Every day, except one, when the bell rings and Ben is nowhere to be found. Because Ben ran. Yet, despite their fear and sadness, his family remains hopeful that maybe, just maybe, he made it North. That he is free.

An ode to hope and a powerful tribute to the courage of those who ran for freedom, The Bell Rang is a stunning reminder that our past can never be forgotten.





June 11, 2020
11:00 am - 11:30 am