Renay Intisar Jihad (B.A., M.Ed., CAGS) was born in New Haven, Connecticut, where exposure to the arts was as natural as breathing. Serving as a literacy coach for eight, of the thirty years in teaching allowed her to support new teachers, write curriculum, and share resources. Scarves and Bandanas and The Day Josef Found His Pride were short-run publications tailored to the needs and interests of her students.
Renay is the recipient of the Global Educator of the Year and a Teaching Tolerance Award. After she earned her National Board Certification, the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) recognized her as one of twenty NBCTs at that time. A Fulbright-Hays scholarship enabled her to travel to Kenya and Tanzania. Other education-related travel opportunities to China, Egypt, Morocco, the Caribbean, and Thailand helped enhance her teaching and writing curriculum. A Michael Jordan Fundamentals grant enabled Mrs. Jihad to produce a book of children’s poems entitled The Many Faces of Poetry. Her sixth-grade students authored original poems, art, and short stories inspired by personal experiences. In the Many Faces of Love, Jihad penned a poem for each of her one-hundred and ten students to honor their unique gifts. Now she contributes to the AF-Am POV (African American Point of View) and the Muslim Journal. Online venues include websites such as PoetryVibe.com and Medium.com. Social media presence: Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.
To give back to her community, Renay launched a free e-book promo for this year’s Juneteenth celebration. She said, “I needed to get this book into the hands of many readers considering the social and political climate facing all of us.” In the book, a teenage boy named Mini T. Solja (an acronym using the first letter of her grandchildren’s first names) learns a valuable lesson about his rich heritage. MINI SOLJA STANDS ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS is a lyrical coming-of-age conversation. This poetic snapshot highlights Black Americans’ stellar history and pays homage to our past struggles and triumphs. Additional resources include a list of famous Black Americans and a directory of Black museums.
BOUNCE A BOOK AGAINST YOUR BRAIN poetically uses the game of basketball’s words, terms, and phrases to share an inspiring message about reading. The rapid-fire, fast-paced, rap-style language captures your imagination. The ideas shared in this rallying call to Bounce a Book Against Your Brain is a potent reminder of the saying, “words make people.” Lifelong learning matters. You matter. You are young, gifted, and filled with possibility. Sit! Read! Think! Your ticket to having it all is a book away. This book is a quick read with a life-changing message.
Jihad is also donating $1.00 from each sale of her book for new and novice teachers to her local DKG chapter’s New Teacher Committee from now through December 31st, 2021. Teaching is a challenging and rewarding profession. These well-crafted poems describe why love is a powerful incentive. Educators enter the occupation to make a positive impact on the students they teach. Nod, laugh, cry, and share the familiar teaching experiences chronicled in this brief, but potent, collection of anecdotal poems. New teachers enjoy the call to embrace a holistic style of schooling. Experienced educators find these poems entertaining, enlightening, and rejuvenating. Each poem’s rhythmic cadence reveals a candid observation of the modern-day classroom. The author conveys a keen sense of experience through stark imagery and refreshing views. TURNING THE HALLS OF YEARNING INTO THE HALLS OF LEARNING is an inspiring resource for every teacher. The Teaching Mantra and Reflection exercises are bonus sections.
All books are available on Amazon.com.