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Ms. Opal Lee, popularly known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth”, hosted an UpliftAscend school-wide book reading assembly on July 19th at Uplift Ascend located in West Fort Worth, TX.

Opal Lee, an American retired teacher, counselor, and activist in the movement to make Juneteenth a federally recognized holiday, and often described as the "grandmother of Juneteenth", spoke to the students and staff of the school and read excerpts from her book, Juneteenth: A Children’s Story, to students as part of the school’s summer programming. Each student received a copy of Ms. Lee’s book. 

Ms. Opal Lee is a life-long educator, forever passionate about teaching people, both young and old, about the significance of Juneteenth. "Our schools simply have to teach the truth about our history, so we don't repeat the mistakes of our past. So, I've written a little book to help with that " says Lee.

Ms. Lee is a voice of history with a message for the future. Many consider her the “Grandmother of Juneteenth” but if you ask her who she is, she will tell you she’s “just a little old lady in tennis shoes getting in everybody’s business.”

Ms. Opal Lee began Opal’s Walk to DC in 2016 at the age of 89. She started with the plan to walk the 1,400 miles from Fort Worth, Texas to Washington, DC in hopes of gaining support from Congress to officially name Juneteenth a national Holiday, and with goal of 100,000 petition signatures. She set out on her mission and has not stopped since. She has reached over 1.5 million signatures and Juneteenth is indeed now a national holiday.

About Ms. Opal Lee’s Book-Juneteenth: A Children’s Story

Originally released in 2019, the book, aimed at children from grades K-5, teaches its young audience about the history and significance of Juneteenth in an easily digestible and educational way. It features teacher’s notes to help facilitate important conversations about our country’s history in the classroom or at home.

About Uplift Education

Uplift Education is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the lives of teachers, families, and, most importantly, students. With a network of 46 college preparatory, public charter schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Uplift offers students of any background the powerful chance to study within a multidisciplinary curriculum and prepare for the college career they deserve. Uplift is the largest International Baccalaureate district in Texas and the #2 IB district in the nation because of the number of holistic extracurricular and educational programs. The incredible educators in the Uplift network guide and teach over 21,000 students in Pre-K- 12th?grades, with the majority being low-income and minority students who will be the first in their family to attend college. For more information Uplift’s mission and their blind lottery selection system, visit?

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