‘Black Is Beautiful’: Canyon 8th grader promotes self-love through literacy

Local News

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — There is no question that Canyon Junior High School student Rashar “Ray” Steward loves to read.

“Reading is fun,” Steward said.

“Most parents, you know how they will catch their kids playing games and stuff like that,” Rashar’s mother, Deetress Peoples, described. “Well, my problem was waking up at 2 a.m. to use the restroom and he’s under his cover with a book.”

Now the 8th grader is using his passion to help put books in the hands of kids who look similar to him. Rashar is serving as an ambassador for the Leaders Readers Network and is heading the local book project titled “Black is Beautiful.”

“The Black is Beautiful project was created to inspire support and uplift the black students in our community,” Rashar explained.

According to Peoples, to date, the project has provided 270 books to teachers in Amarillo and 905 books to teachers in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Maryland, and South Carolina.

“These books that we’ve been promoting, “The Stars Beneath,” there are stories about black kids who have struggled there’s a lot of books that we are doing that are uplifting saying, ‘Hey it’s okay to be black and you’re beautiful,'” Peoples added.

In order to provide his peers with a number of diverse books, Rashar has committed to running a fundraiser. For every $10 donated Rashar says he will run around the Square in Canyon.

Click here, to donate to Rashar’s fundraiser.


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