Native Village 
Youth and Education News

October, 2013

New Effort by Clinton Global Initiative to Assist Authors of Native Children's Books
Condensed by Native Village

Editor's Note: First Book has entered into an agreement with Book Publishing Company for their Native Voices and 7th Generation lines. Learn more, and take advantage of the special discount for Native Village readers.


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.

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the mission of the Clinton Global Initiative America is to turn ideas into action. They convene global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges.
To date, CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments that have improved the lives of 400,000,000 people in more than 180 countries.
When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at more than $73,100,000,000.

First Book is a nonprofit that provides new books and educational resources to schools and community programs serving children in need. They are determined to see that all children, regardless of their economic conditions, can achieve more in school and in life through access to an ongoing supply of new books.
First Book recently unveiled their Commitment to Action to dramatically expand the market for diversity in children's literature.

“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:

Native Children booksAdd another 30,000 Title I classrooms and community programs to its network, giving them permanent, ongoing access to First Book's resources.

Provide matching grants resulting in 600,000 culturally relevant books and resources to kids in need.

Create 9,000 collections, 50 books each, featuring a wide array of culturally diverse titles.

Conduct a landmark assessment of educators in underserved communities to determine exactly what resources they need most.

Convene authors, illustrators, and other leaders to inform new content selection and inspire new and diverse artists to approach publishers with their work.

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.

Of interest to Native Village readers
 First Book has entered into an agreement with Book Publishing Company for their Native Voices and 7th Generation lines. These books preserve the history, culture, traditions and stories of Native people and are written for youth of all ages. 
To learn more, and to take advantage of a
20% off purchase offer from Book Publishing Co, visit:
Exclusive Offer from Book Publishing Co. and Native Village

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