The Current Meaning of Noyes Academy

Although New Hampshire abolished slavery in 1857, the issue of racism at the heart of slavery, was fully embraced in 1835 when townspeople from Canaan, NH took action against a racially integrated school in their town.

Integrated School

“On the 10th of August in 1835, nearly 500 white men destroyed the Noyes Academy in Canaan, New Hampshire, using 100 oxen to pull the schoolhouse off its foundation and drag it a mile down the road. Noyes Academy was a new integrated school (the second in the country) founded by abolitionists with 28 white and 14 Black students. The African American students, who came from all over the Northeast, traveled long distances in the face of adversity to get to the school. Students included future leaders of note such as Henry Highland Garnet and Alexander Crummell” (ZINN EDUCATION).

Literacy Freedom

“After destroying the school, the mob fired cannons into the homes where the African American students were boarding and threatened the students. Shots were exchanged which created a distraction for the Black students to escape out of town. Despite attempts to repair and reopen the school, the structure was burnt to the ground three years later. This story highlights the central role that the fight for “freedom for literacy and literacy for freedom” has played in U.S. history, as Theresa Perry describes in Young, Gifted, and Black: Promoting High Achievement among African-American Students.”

Learn more about Noyes Academy and find related resources at the link below: ZINN EDUCATION

CNLEP (Students Can Leap!)

Student achievement, especially in literacy, for all students depends on the access and support we give to each student. The SchoolWorks Lab has proposed a national program to address this need: the Comprehensive National Literacy Enrichment Program (CNLEP — Students Can Leap!) is a holistic reading policy designed to enhance literacy skills and foster a lifelong love for reading among students in K-12 schools across the United States. CNLEP aims to create a vibrant reading culture, empower educators, and equip students with the necessary skills to succeed in an increasingly complex world.


  1. Universal Access to Quality Literature: Ensure that all K-12 schools have well-stocked libraries with a diverse range of high-quality books, including fiction, non-fiction, multicultural, and inclusive literature.
  2. Personalized Reading Plans: Develop individualized reading plans for each student, tailored to their reading level, interests, and learning style. Regular assessments will be conducted to monitor progress and adjust reading plans accordingly.
  3. Teacher Training and Support: Provide ongoing professional development opportunities for educators to enhance their literacy instruction skills. Emphasize innovative teaching methods, effective reading strategies, and techniques for fostering a reading-friendly classroom environment.
  4. Family and Community Engagement: Promote partnerships between schools, families, and local communities to encourage reading at home and beyond. Establish regular reading-related events, workshops, and literacy-focused campaigns to involve parents and caregivers in their child’s reading journey.
  5. Digital Literacy Integration: Incorporate digital literacy skills into the curriculum, teaching students how to critically engage with online texts, evaluate digital sources, and use technology to enhance their reading experience.
  6. Inclusive Literature: Ensure that reading materials represent a wide range of cultures, backgrounds, identities, and perspectives. Promote social justice, empathy, and understanding through literature that reflects the diverse society in which students live.
  7. Reading for Critical Thinking: Foster critical thinking skills by encouraging students to analyze, question, and interpret texts. Engage students in discussions that promote deeper comprehension and the ability to draw connections between different ideas.
  8. Assessment and Monitoring: Develop a comprehensive assessment framework to measure students’ reading proficiency, comprehension, and analytical skills. Use a combination of standardized tests, portfolio assessments, and formative assessments to evaluate progress.
  9. Reading Enrichment Programs: Establish extracurricular reading clubs, book circles, and writing workshops to provide students with opportunities to explore literature beyond the classroom curriculum. Encourage peer-led discussions and collaborative projects.
  10. Continuous Research and Improvement: Fund and support research on effective literacy practices, reading interventions, and the impact of literature on cognitive development. Regularly review and refine the CNLEP based on evidence-based insights. (ChatGPT was used to help organize this list!)
Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

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