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Daniel Jenkins Academy Teacher invites NYT Bestselling author into the English Classroom

When Monique Collins, an English teacher at Daniel Jenkins Academy, invited J. Elle, a New York Times Bestselling author, to speak with her students, she was ecstatic when the author agreed. “I knew this would be an amazing opportunity,” said Collins.


Collins wanted her students to meet an acclaimed author who looked like them and wrote about characters who represented their cultures. “Diversity and inclusion are critical in education,” said Collins. “Students need to see themselves in the authors and in the books they read.”


author speaks on zoom

As a Charleston native and an African-American English teacher, Collins personally understood the need for diversity and representation in the classroom. Representation she found lacking in her classrooms as a child.

She scheduled J. Elle’s first visit during Black History Month. “February is the start of the new semester, but I want my students to see themselves in books every day.” 

Elle, the debut author of Wings of Ebony, visited Daniel Jenkins Academy for the first time on February 23, 2021. Her visits will be held virtually. J. Elle will speak to students about creative writing, her new novel, and finding their voice.

Students at Daniel Jenkins Academy will be reading Wings of Ebony in English classrooms and in Book Clubs. They will meet with the author periodically, as they reach reading milestones.