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Poughkeepsie Schools Approve $6,500 To 11-Year-Old Keynote Speaker

Marley Dias, an 11-year-old student, was interviewed last February for "CBS This Morning."
Marley Dias, an 11-year-old student, was interviewed last February for "CBS This Morning." Video Credit: CBS This Morning YouTube

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- A majority of board members for the Poughkeepsie City School District voted to pay an 11-year-old over $6,000 for her services as a keynote speaker, though at least one resident wondered at the approval, given the district's tight finances, the Poughkeepsie Journal has reported.

Marley Dias created a #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign to bring diversity to kids books and promote student literacy, and she was a keynote speaker at the Superintendent’s Conference Day, earlier this week, according to the Journal. She first spoke to staff and then ran a student workshop.

Superintendent Nicole Williams noted a handful of reasons she considered the expenditure reasonable: many of the district's students are reading at lower levels than expected, Dias' initiative has been inspiring to students, Dias' work had been professional, and keynote speakers under a prior superintendent had been even more expensive on average, the Journal reported.

Board member Raymond Duncan said that there's money in the budget for initiatives of the superintendent, so he'd tend to approve such speaker costs, according to the Journal.

Read the Poughkeepsie Journal story here.

Click here for a "1000 Black Girl Books Resource Guide."

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