With a surprise visit from our old furry friend, the Fidelisaurus, LINC’s Diversity Through Literacy campaign culminated on a high note! Bubbles, balloons, and brand new author-signed books in hand, LINC families clamored for photos with the Fidelis Care mascot before parting ways. Diversity Through Literacy was a success for the third year in a row!
This past weekend, LINC held programs in East New York, Brooklyn on Friday and South Jamaica, Queens and East Harlem, Manhattan on Saturday with special guest authors at each location. The campaign’s goal was to showcase new and diverse authors, to embrace unique perspectives, and to share different cultures and experiences, and that is exactly what it did!
On Friday, author and actor Marchánt Davis read his story, A Boy and His Mirror at the Essex Community Garden in East New York, Brooklyn. A magical mirror that comes to life reminds us to look beyond our differences and celebrate one another for who we are. This story was a perfect compliment to the activity of the day in which all of the attendees were given a mirror of their own before drawing and framing their self portraits.
Director of Community Mobilization Corey Saxton introduced Marchánt’s story by speaking to the core of LINC’s beliefs: “We’re really excited to be here today to celebrate our Diversity Through Literacy campaign. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion… are an important part of our work all year long. But for the last 3 years we’ve taken an opportunity with our Diversity Through Literacy campaign to really lift up the importance of using children’s books as both windows and mirrors. Windows for children to get a glimpse into a world they maybe haven’t experienced, and mirrors for them to see themselves represented in the books they read.”
On Saturday morning, Mojdeh Hassani and Samira Iravani shared their story Mama Shamsi at the Bazaar at the Baisley Park Library in South Jamaica, Queens. This mother-daughter writing team based this cozy, whimsical story on Hassani’s childhood in Tehran in the 1960s and ’70s, inviting us to see a chador as a safe and comforting space as well as “a stage-curtain cloth” that invited imaginative play. Mojdeh put on a chador like her grandmother’s, and invited families to experience the joy she did racing through the bazaar in Tehran.
“Early childhood literacy is critical for the cognitive and social development of children,” said Fidelis Care Medical Director and Pediatrician Dr. Lisa Moreno. “Diversity in literature allows children to explore and understand the world around them. A child who sees themselves reflected in the pages of a book can feel validated and empowered, while also learning empathy and understanding by reading about different cultures and experiences.”
On Saturday afternoon, author and award-winning illustrator James Yang brought his book to life on the big screen with an interactive reading and self portrait drawing lesson at the DREAM charter school in East Harlem. His book, A Boy Named Isamu: A Story of Isamu Noguchi is a tribute to the Japanese American sculptor Noguchi, and an introspective journey to view the world as the artist sees it, and appreciate quiet, reflective moments in nature.
Thank you to our partners, Fidelis Care and Penguin Young Readers for your support, and to all of our guest authors for bringing this campaign to life, each in your own unique and wonderful way. Keep spreading the word: diversity through literature strengthens our understanding and experience in this world, and equips our children to solve tomorrow’s most pressing challenges.
To register for LINC’s latest programs, visit: www.lincnyc.org/onlineprograms.