Youth and Families


Legacy Youth Leadership Program

The Legacy Youth Leadership Program utilizes BCRI’s mission, collections, programs, and partnerships to engage area high school students in a series of training experiences and internship opportunities that will help them develop into lifelong learners, productive citizens, and community leaders. The objective of LYLP is to: 1) promote student confidence, self-esteem, character, and community involvement through active participation, and (2) involve students as leaders in project planning and implementation. Upon acceptance into the program, students are expected to attend a series of 12 weekly participatory workshops. The workshops will help build students’ knowledge base of BCRI’s permanent galleries, archival holdings, and public programs through three segments: BCRI exhibitions, African American history and culture, and leadership development. Students will also be expected to attend BCRI public programs as well as participate in college visits. In the summer, students who successfully complete the program will serve as Docents (tour guides) at BCRI. LYLP alumni are expected to continue to serve as BCRI volunteers throughout their high school tenure.

Birmingham Cultural Alliance Partnership (BCAP)

BCAP - 21st Century Community Learning Centers - The Birmingham Cultural Alliance Partnership (BCAP) is BCRI’s award-winning collaborative project of the city’s major museums and the public library to provide after-school learning opportunities designed to enhance the cultural literacy and academic achievement of students and their parents. The purpose of the project is to create a positive community learning environment that will enhance student achievement, increase student participation in enrichment activities, involve families in learning and enrichment activities and build partnerships between schools and community organizations. BCAP is funded by the Alabama State Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Community of Readers

The Community of Readers program at BCRI aims to bridge the gap between literacy and parental involvement by instructing families about better reading habits, promoting local parents’ belief in their own capabilities as educational mentors, and using books to enhance the time that families spend together. In partnership with local organizations, we offer free books and exciting read-along programs designed to engage the entire family. The series has featured readings with such authors as Darcel Craft, Dr. Kimberly Brown-Pullum, and Rita Collins authors. Annual Community of Readers events include the BCRI Kwanzaa Celebration and a book fair presented in collaboration with the National Hook-Up of Black Women Birmingham.

Heritage Alive!

Heritage Alive! is a series of free 45-minute programs designed by BCRI that engage young learners with weekly interactive activities. The program features one book each month with new activities presented each week. Customarily, lead teachers attending the program will receive a copy of the book, the month’s syllabus, and a bibliography of related books for young readers. Due to public health concerns during the coronavirus pandemic, leaders are provided with links to view virtual readings. Benefits of Heritage Alive!:

  • Improves students‘ literacy skills through the introduction of books and stories written and illustrated by African Americans
  • Helps foster children’s understanding of other cultures and people
  • Increases students’ understanding of the similarities and differences in people
  • Encourages students to enjoy reading and become life long learners