Our ground breaking literary arts education residencies bring Black artists and writers into Twin Cities Metro classrooms to use Black literature as a vehicle for cultivating literary minds by introducing school partners to culturally responsive arts-based approaches to classroom instruction, teacher training, curriculum development, and family and community engagement.

Is your school interested in working with Givens literary teaching artists? Fill out the contact form.

"A culturally responsive approach involves teachers using their students' culture as an important source of the students' education."
– Dr. Alfred Tatum, Assistant Professor in the Department of Literacy Education at Northern Illinois University and author of Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males


The Givens Foundation's Strategies for Student Engagement and Learning

  1. Black Teaching Artists: Modeling culturally responsive instructional methods for teachers and diversifying the instructional experience of students.
  2. Innovative Classroom Instruction Methods: Using literary arts such as storytelling, creative writing, spoken word, hip-hop, fiction, poetry, memoir, and journalism.
  3. Inclusive Curricula: Increasing access to classic and contemporary Black literature.
  4. Family and Community Engagement: Creating student-centered educational products and performances that serve as a platform for family and community involvement and support.


Education Handout

Download our Education Program Handout (PDF)


Education Handbook

Download our Education Program Handbook (PDF)


Additional Resources

According to researcher Geneva Gay (2000), culturally responsive teaching:

  • Acknowledges students' cultural heritage as it affects their dispositions, attitudes, and approaches to learning, and recognizes that it contains content worthy to be included in the curriculum.
  • Builds meaning between students' home and schools experiences as well as between "school stuff" and the students' lived realities.
  • Uses a wide variety of instructional strategies.
  • Teaches an appreciation of the students' own cultural heritage as well as that of others.
  • Incorporates multicultural information, resources, and materials in all subjects and skills routinely taught in schools.