Summer reading can help to foster academic success and promote community building. Our nonprofit, Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute, is excited to announce our partnership with Little Free Library.
We are supporting the national Read in Color® initiative. Together, we are promoting literacy at the grassroots level. The program works in cooperation with key local partners to distribute diverse and culturally relevant books to Little Free Library book-sharing boxes in local communities. The initiative is committed to furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion.
This is critically important when less than 25% of children’s books feature a character of color. With current trends, you are more likely to see a black bear or black dog on the cover of a book than a Black girl or Black boy.
Our nation has evolved into a rich multicultural tapestry. Books should reflect this great gift and treasure by serving as mirrors and windows for children. Diverse books inspire and enable children of color to see themselves represented in the literature. They learn how to unveil their limitless potential and discover the leader within. These are the mirrors where they can see themselves clearly as the leaders and change agents of the future.
Diverse books also serve as windows for all children as they learn about the cultural experiences of others. This may include learning about global citizenship by exploring a new language, food, or culture. Children can travel around the world through pages of a book. Reading diverse books supports and fosters leadership development. It provides youth with the tools needed to become inclusive leaders who take action for justice and equity.
The mission of the PPGJLI is to plant seeds of social change through education, training, and community outreach. Books and literacy are essential to accomplish that goal. The Read in Color® initiative through the Little Free Library is an important resource for the community. It aids in teaching youth about the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion, along with empathy and understanding. It equips our youth with critical leadership skills and tools.
Read in Color® provides depictions of our rich multicultural tapestry, offers new perspectives on racism and social justice, and celebrates marginalized voices.
This summer, you can make a difference in your community by supporting your local little free library, signing the Read in Color Pledge, and adding new diverse books to your reading list
Suggested titles for your
summer reading list:
• “Bee Love (Can Be Hard)” by Alan Page and Kamie Page
• “Black boy, Black boy” by Crown Shepherd)
• “Black is a Rainbow Color” by Angela Joy
• “Cameron Goes to School” by Sheletta Brundidge
• “Ghana: A Place I Call Home” by Monica Habia
*Note: Data on books by and about Black, Indigenous and People of Color published for children and teens compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Through her organization, Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute, Dr. Artika Tyner seeks to plant seeds of social change through education, training, and community outreach.