North Carolina A&T's Homecoming is a big deal for La-Donia Alford-Jefferies and her family.
“You know I tell people; my kids will ask me when homecoming is before they ask me when Christmas is," Jefferies said.
Homecoming is so big in her household, she decided to write a book about it. The Aggie alum and former N.C. A&T adjunct professor is the author of the children’s book Homecoming.
“Homecoming came out in 2019,” Jefferies said. "I was pregnant with my first child, and I was in Cincinnati, Ohio at the time, and I really wanted to come back for homecoming. I wanted to be able to share homecoming with her at a very young age and I wanted to be able to explain it where she could understand."
But what happens on the yard throughout the year? Jefferies explains this in her newest children's book The HBCU ABCs.
“I also wanted children to learn and understand what happens on a college campus when homecoming is over,” Jefferies said. “What's happening in those laboratories, why are there x-rays, and how much fun college can be in introducing children to HBCU culture."
Jefferies describes the illustrations in her books as nostalgic with a 90's feel. She said she and her illustrator wanted children to see themselves throughout the pages.
“We wanted our characters to have natural hairstyles, natural hair textures, and to see beautiful black and brown faces and other faces as well, to show the diversity of HBCU campuses,” Jefferies said.
All in all, she hopes her books will teach children the importance of higher education.
"I think it's important that you don't wait until kids get to middle school to start thinking about college, but they start thinking about it at two, three, even four years old because they are excited about it,” Jefferies said. “They want to be involved; they want to learn more."
The books can also be purchased at https://thehbcuhomecomingbook.com/.