It’s no secret that the past year has been filled with obstacles. But despite the challenges, YWCA’s supporters have stepped up to the plate, supporting our students, our transitional housing participants, and our community. For Randii Smith, her support of YWCA Central Carolinas is thriving in a virtual world.
Randii and her family moved to Charlotte two years ago, and after working as an elementary teacher for 5 years, she transitioned to homeschooling her daughters. It’s been a fantastic opportunity to support her children’s literacy development and to support their academic success. But there was just a small problem: Randii felt that sometimes children’s literature offered themes that some kids couldn’t grasp yet. Randii wanted to change that. So, she decided to write her own children’s book.
“I wanted kids to be able to visualize what the book is teaching even if they’re not a strong reader,” said Randii. “And I wanted to give parents the opportunity to support a child’s emotional growth.”
Randii wrote Logan and Lucky’s Life Lessons for Kids: Logan Loses Her Cool, highlighting parenting and teaching techniques that worked with her own daughter to help her navigate new emotions. This book has given Randii the opportunity to share her parenting and teaching techniques with a broader audience and to connect with YWCA Central Carolinas.
While looking for people in the area to donate her books to, Randii stumbled upon YWCA and our Department of Youth Programs. She learned about the way YWCA’s educators support a child’s literacy and academic development while connecting parents to community resources.
It’s really nice to see an after-school program that’s giving students a hands-on education to help progress them to the next academic step. I just knew this is who we wanted to help out.Randii Smith
In February 2021, Randii donated a copy of Logan Loses Her Cool to each YWCA student and educator. Additionally, she joined all of our 8 youth learning centers for a ‘Meet The Author’ Zoom lesson, during which she read her book to YWCA students and had a Q&A session. During the Zoom sessions, many of our students were excited to learn with Randii, excitedly waiting for her to begin reading to open their books and some even asking about how to become an author!
Along with her book donation and Zoom sessions with students, Randii has quickly gotten involved in YWCA’s community. She joined our February 18 book club discussion, focusing on Dr. Gholdy Muhammad’s Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy. YWCA’s discussion gave her new tools for literacy lessons with her daughters, helping Randii implement a racial equity framework in her homeschooling.
Then, on February 25, Randii tuned in for YWCA’s first virtual We Believe event, to learn even more about our mission, programs and impact and to support our campaign.
Randii Smith is just one of the hundreds of empowering donors and volunteers that support YWCA and drive our mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Thank you to Randii, and all of the YWCA community, for being part of our work.