In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month, we are hosting a community-wide book drive that exemplifies diverse characters reflective of young Central Texas readers.
From January 21 through February 28, we ask that you collect and share children’s books that celebrate equality, diversity, and inclusiveness. We welcome books with representations of color, race, religion and culture.
Books collected can be dropped off at our office at 2006 Greenbrook Parkway, Austin, TX 78723. We are seeking books with characters of color or themes of diversity.
In December, we connected with the 50 States 50 Books project via Instagram. A Connecticut family set on a mission to send 50 diverse children’s books to each of the 50 states in July 2018. Charnaie Gordon and her children Madison and Barrington troubled by the lack of diversity in children’s books and the literacy gap involving kids around the country decided to take action with this project. They selected BookSpring as the Texas recipient!
The beautifully curated collection of books was part of the inspiration for our community-wide book drive. With our ever-expanding population, it is vital that we offer books to the community that give readers the opportunity to see themselves reflected.
Charnaie is a witty and passionate literacy advocate. Her blog Here Wee Read highlights the importance of representation of color, race, religion, and culture. The 50 books were gifted to students at Oak Springs Elementary, which has a 25% African American and 67% Hispanic student demographic.
Locally we partner with groups such as Greater Austin Area My Brother’s Keeper. Its mission is to support males of color in reaching their full potential through solutions which eliminate disparities and create equity.
E3 Alliance reported that low-income boys from African-American, Latino, and Native American backgrounds are statistically more likely to be behind on this milestone than other groups of children upon entering school.
The GAAMBK committee has collected over 8,000 books the past two years to provide to families in Central Texas. As we continue to work toward diversifying our book selections, we want to offer children books with characters they can relate to, increasing their understanding of the world.
Children’s books can serve as mirrors so they can see themselves and their experiences reflected in stories. These books are also windows to see outside of their own lives. Books also serve as tools for parents to teach their children about diversity, inclusion and life.