Today, First Book – a nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to ending knowledge poverty – announced The Stories for All Project to put new books that have characters, cultures, and voices rarely represented in children’s literature into the hands of children.
Since 1992, First Book has delivered more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving low-income children in the U.S. and Canada at little or no cost.
Diversity-focused titles will also be available at deeply discounted prices for the organization’s network serving children in low-income communities.
HarperCollins Publishers and Lee & Low Books submitted the winning proposals for The Stories for All Project, which aims to provide diverse content that speaks directly to the children’s lives.
“For years educators and parents have lamented the lack of high quality children’s books that represent diverse cultures and communities, but the problem still persists,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book’s president and CEO.
“Through The Stories for All Project, First Book is aggregating the market of educators and programs serving children in need, proving that these communities are here, they are full of potential readers, and they are willing book buyers. As we grow this market, publishers will welcome the opportunity to respond with more relevant content for a variety of cultures.”
Getting high quality books into the hands of children who risk falling behind because they don’t have access to the same educational materials as their affluent peers is part of First Book’s mission to end knowledge poverty.
In a recent survey of more than 2,000 First Book schools and programs, 90 percent of respondents agreed that the children in their programs would be more enthusiastic readers if they had access to books with characters, stories, and images that reflect their lives and communities.
Originally, First Book planned to award one publishing partner with a $500,000 purchase, but they were so impressed with the 24 proposals that they decided to choose two winners.
“We are thrilled to be a part of The Stories for All Project,” said Susan Katz, president and publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books. ”By partnering with First Book, we can provide our award-winning multicultural titles to the children in greatest need.”
“As the largest multicultural children’s publisher in the U.S., our mission is so aligned with that of First Book,” said Craig Low, president of Lee & Low Books. “We aim to publish books that reflect how people live today and this incredible initiative will help our content reach their audience in a huge way.”
Source: First Book.
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