Campaign aims to promote early literacy and foster diverse representation in children’s literature
NEW YORK, NY, July 1, 2021– Fidelis Care, a New York State health plan, and Literacy Inc. (LINC), a non-profit organization whose mission is to equip New York City families with foundational literacy skills, today announced its second year of the Diversity Through Literacy campaign. Through a generous donation from Fidelis Care, over 1,000 free books featuring stories that represent racial diversity, including 500 copies of the New York Times best-seller The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez, will be distributed by Literacy Inc. across New York City boroughs on July 7.
Created in 2021, Diversity through Literacy aims to increase diverse representation of children in books, and to cultivate unique perspectives on inclusion and equity, while also helping families learn about the benefits of early literacy and its impact on children's healthy development.
“Fidelis Care stresses the importance of positively impacting a child’s most formative years through early literacy habits such as reading aloud, which, with just 15 minutes a day can lead to many significant cognitive and developmental benefits,” said Fidelis Care Medical Director and pediatrician Dr. Lisa Moreno. “Children are highly impressionable. At a time in our society when racial and social justice issues continue to make headlines, it’s important we demonstrate to children that excellence can look like them, too.”
"We distribute books, but we also hold workshops for parents,” added LINC Deputy Director Eliana Godoy. “Our goal is to engage parents by providing them with simple tools and strategies they can use daily at home to create a strong literacy-rich foundation and nurture a love of reading. Through these daily experiences, children are prepared to enter school and have the necessary skills to triumph at school and in life.”
The free book distribution on July 7 will take place at the locations listed below where community members are welcome to join, enjoy refreshments and family friendly entertainment.
Fidelis Care staff members will volunteer and read a children’s book aloud to the families present. Multilingual Fidelis Care Representatives will be available to speak with parents and provide information on the importance of health and wellness for kids and families, while Literacy Inc. staff and volunteers will lead reading programs and offer resources to parents that share the importance of diversity and representation in children’s literature.
A Diversity Through Literacy parent workshop will be held virtually on July 22 at 4 PM, hosted by Literacy Inc. and Fidelis Care. Author Rio Cortez will conduct a live read aloud of The ABCs of Black History.