First Book wanted to improve literacy for all young readers so they developed the Stories for All Project. This special initiative recognizes that children need to have books with characters and stories that are relevant to them.
“We are not the first people to complain and worry about this issue. So we knew if we were actually going to make a difference we needed a market-driven solution. In short, we needed to put our money where our mouth is.“
Stories For All would purchase $500,000 worth of books from any one publisher for books featuring characters of color. This is where I falter: First Book says the response was overwhelming. I look at the books currently available and wonder who all these publishers could be. I could name a few companies but “overwhelming?”
First Book actually found two companies that published a noteworthy amount of high quality books featuring characters of color and they decided to commit $1 million to the program.
Congratulations to HarperCollins and Lee & Low Books
And, thank you First Book for taking direct aim at addressing why more children are not readers. I hope others will follow your lead, if not in donating large sums that will make a difference, then in actually doing something.
If you work with children from low-income neighborhoods, or know someone who does, sign up with First Book today.
An Interview with Mary Cash and Jason Low
NY Times article about the Award
In purchasing from both of these companies, not only does First Book more firmly establish their dedication to literacy, but the make thousands more books available.