On Thursday, July 7, hundreds of books were distributed to children across the five boroughs of New York City as part the Diversity Through Literacy campaign! Literacy Inc. and Fidelis Care joined forces in all eight of LINC’s neighborhoods,* and the impact was tremendous.
We call it #ABCDiversity!
Beginning on Juneteenth, this campaign was designed to emphasize the significance of diversity and representation in children's literature, to share books that reflect cultures all around the world, and help children develop confidence in themselves.
"It's important that kids can see themselves in books so they can dream and dream big. I want kids of all ages, genders and identities to read so they can keep on dreaming," said Sophie Lamisere, Vice President Population Health and Clinical Operations, Fidelis Care.
The crowd was lively, the stories were magical and children enjoyed everything from bubbles to life size checkers. They met a clown and a fluffy green dinosaur and their parents won prizes, and the love of reading was captured on Pix11 News (click here to watch).
All children need literacy engagement during summer. Just as grade level pupils need to read during school vacations to avoid a loss of skills - a phenomenon known as summer slide - brain development for little ones needs year-round stimulation. It’s important to find books that children are interested in and that include characters that are reflections of themselves. Stories like I am Enough, Not So Different, Dreamers and I Believe I Can teach children to be open minded, accepting and kind to others and themselves, and to feel empowered.
All children who participated on July 7 were given copies of the ABC’s of Black History and registered for our virtual program with the author Rio Cortez on July 22.
This virtual program and parent workshop focused on diverse, dynamic historical figures and events, and left families radiant with pride for their own heritage, a better understanding of others and an insatiable love of reading!
* The Diversity Through Literacy campaign sites included Rufus King Manor in South Jamaica, Queens, Poe Park in the Bronx, the Kingsbridge Library, Fidelis Care Office in Lower Washington Heights, Essex Community Garden in Brooklyn, Rev Dr. Maggie Howard Playground in Staten Island, Franklin Plaza Community Center in East Harlem, and Quisqueya Plaza in Manhattan. LINC would like to thank all of our partners, staff and New York City Councilmembers for helping make this dream a reality.