I can’t believe summer is already drawing to a close! It’s amazing—the kids will be returning to school in just a few weeks (August 7 for kids in Metro schools!).
The Tulip Street Legacy Fund is kicking off the school year by offering the opportunity to “Adopt a Classroom” at Warner Enhanced Elementary School!
As we’ve recognized in other projects, learning to read in the early grades is one of the key milestones on the path to success. In a survey of 2,000 schools, 90% of those surveyed agreed that “the children in their programs would be more enthusiastic readers if they had access to books with characters, stories and images that reflect their lives and communities.” This has been a challenge, however, as the children’s book world does not reflect the demographics of today’s culture. (See We Need Diverse Books, citing repeated surveys of children’s books that indicate a lack of diversity in children’s literature.)
In 2014, two authors began a campaign called We Need Diverse Books. They noted that more than 20 years ago, Professor Rudine Sims Bishop explained that children are affected by what they see around them, and that it helps them to grow. Professor Bishop noted: “When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part.”
Additionally, the Association for Library Service to Children has recognized that positive representations of diversity in children’s materials:
- provide positive role models for culturally diverse children;
- introduce children to characters with similar experiences and emotions;
- convey the richness and beauty of the diverse cultures in the United States;
- reinforce a distinct cultural identity;
- promote multilingual and literacy development;
- inspire learning of other cultures and general cultural knowledge;
- facilitate acceptance of cultures different from one’s own; and
- foster global connections.
Diversity in the books kids read is clearly an important part in creating lifelong readers!
Let’s help Warner School add more diverse books to their classroom libraries!
You can “Adopt a Classroom” for the 2017-18 school year. For each $100 donation to the Tulip Street Legacy Fund, the Fund will purchase one diverse book per month throughout the school year (a total of 10 books) for the adopted classroom. Please note on your donation that it is for Diverse Books Classroom Adoption.
Parnassus Books in Green Hills is partnering with us on this project. The children’s manager at Parnassus will be helping select exceptional diverse books appropriate for each grade level for each month. We are so grateful to Parnassus for their support!
If you prefer to make a donation by check, donations can be mailed to the Tulip Street Legacy Fund, c/o Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, 3833 Cleghorn Avenue, Suite 400, Nashville, Tennessee 37215.