According to United To Learn Director of Literacy Chyla Weaver,
“Anxious to get out and get giving?? Until Tuesday, December 15, United to Learn is collaborating with Interabang Books for a special Holiday Book Drive to enhance elementary school libraries across our 47 Dallas ISD partner campuses citywide.
“While you’re out or online shopping for your friends and family, please join us by purchasing a book for Dallas ISD elementary students that highlights the diversity and cultural richness of our city and our students within our school district.
“Allowing students to see themselves within the pages of the books they read is more important than ever. According to a 2019 report published by the University of Wisconsin’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a national leader in tracking diversity in children’s literature, the following percentages of books include lead characters of color:
- “African/African American: 11.9%
- “Native American: 1%
- “Asian: 8.7%
- “Latinx: 5.3%
- “Unidentified/Brown Skin: 9.2%
“We need to grow these percentages! Building libraries that feature multicultural book titles affords students the opportunity to develop more positive perceptions about themselves. It helps to create a stronger sense of belonging in children trying to make meaning of the world in which they live. And, it helps children make deeper connections with the stories they read, which also leads to deeper levels of learning. Providing books to children that help celebrate their identities is truly a gift that keeps on giving.
“There is no doubt that 2020 has been difficult. Our community was hit hard by a tornado that impacted nine of our Dallas ISD partner campuses. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the course of our lives and unearthed the inequities that exist in our society. And, the glaring impact of racial injustice is felt by all.
“Understanding that literacy is the foundation of every subject and discipline and knowing that research says that reading proficiently by the end of third grade is key to a student’s long-term success, we are even more committed to supporting the literacy achievement of the students we serve. This is why we are so grateful to partner with Interabang and you to give children new books that celebrate diversity while also supporting efforts to encourage deeper learning.
“Will you join us this holiday season and make a purchase either in-store (5600 W. Lovers Lane, Dallas, TX 75209) or online? Your generous gift will create a meaningful difference to ensure that every child has access to quality literacy resources–setting a foundation every child deserves.”
* Graphic/photo provided by United To Learn