New Effort by Clinton Global
Initiative to Assist Authors of Native Children's Books
Condensed by Native Village
Illinois: The lack of diversity in children's literature is a problem that affects all children, especially those from low income families. These youth rarely see themselves, their families or their communities in the stories they read.
In a 2012 study, the Cooperative Children's Book Center reviewed thousands of kids' books. The findings:
To combat this challenge, the Clinton Global Initiative America and First Book have joined efforts to help solve the problem.
“We've heard time and again from the educators we work with that one of the biggest challenges to helping kids become strong readers is the desperate lack of books that are culturally relevant to these kids' lives,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “One of the best ways to turn children into readers is to give them stories with heroes and experiences they can relate to.”
First Book serves nearly 60,000 educators and community program leaders. This is about 4% of the population eligible for First Book's resources.
Through its CGI America Commitment, First Book is now reaching out to a broad audience of new classrooms and community programs. They're also focusing on the development of culturally-relevant book collections for children and incentive grants for the First Book Marketplace.
As part of its CGI commitment, First Book will:
The cost of this commitment is $3,000,000. Disney, who has already donated over 8,000,000 books to First Book, is a lead supporter of these efforts.
Disney's commitment builds on First Book's most recent efforts. In March 2013, First Book purchased $1,000,000 of culturally-diverse content from Harper Collins Books and Lee & Low Books. Those purchases, which Kirkus Reviews called a "colossal commitment," were unprecedented for a nonprofit.
Village © Gina Boltz
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