ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – This year is the 10th anniversary of the Elmira school district’s month-long African American read in program, which started on February 1 in partnership with the Corning Museum and Corning Incorporated for volunteers to read books to students about black history.

“When we’re coming in reading these books, they’re asking questions. They’re learning about themselves, there learning about other people, so I think that’s very vital and very important.” Third year volunteer Reba Martin said.

The students have shown an immense amount of interest about Black History Month through this program and understand the importance of Black History.

“I think it’s important to learn about it because it helps you and you need to learn how to be nicer to other people not just because of their color, but because of their personality, how they treat you. And sometimes you just need to be nice.” said fifth grade student, Arihana Shaver.

The volunteers and the teachers believe it is imperative to share these stories so the students can gain knowledge about how African Americans have contributed to society and what it took to make those things possible.

“You got to share it, you got to tell it, it’s important that they know it, if you don’t share it, they’re not going to know… that’s part of the learning experience.” Reba Martin said.