Our Reading in Color initiative targets raising awareness about diversity in children’s literature. Children should realize the importance of love and acceptance of all ethnicities, cultures, and identities from an early age. This helps them grow into confident, compassionate, and inclusive members of a diverse society.
Characters with Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) identities are significantly underrepresented in children’s literature and that can be unintentionally reflected in our classrooms. To address this issue in our local schools, CARE fundraises, purchases, and delivers books by and featuring BIPOC to donate to local schools.
Each year we compile a list of books by grade level and send them to elementary schools in Lexington and Rockbridge County. Teachers have an opportunity to select a new book book from the list for their classroom. We then purchase and deliver books to the schools by the end of the year. In 2022, we are hoping to have our Reading in Color Initiative be a part of National Read Across America Day.
A diverse group of local college students have filmed themselves reading some the book selections and these videos are made available to teachers to show their students. In the future, we hope to have members of the community and local colleges assist in delivering the books to classrooms while serving as special guest readers to introduce students to their new reading material.
You may donate to the Reading in Color Initiative here.