by Mark Van Streefkerk
It makes sense that acquiring early reading skills is directly linked to access to books, but what about families with very few books? A small but mighty nonprofit Page Ahead has helped get books into the hands of kids from low-income families in Washington State for over 30 years.
Working with schools where 65% or more of students qualify for free or reduced lunch programs, Page Ahead provides 12 new books per year to every child in kindergarten through second grade. In spite of the pandemic, Page Ahead has found new ways to get books into the hands of kids, including launching the Book Oasis Project. Intentionally installed in identified book deserts, these Book Oases, much like Little Free Libraries, are stocked with new children’s books that are free to anyone. At the beginning of the month, Page Ahead was recognized for their work with a prestigious Library of Congress State Literacy Award.
Continue reading Award-Winning Page Ahead Project Keeps Kids Reading in Book Deserts
by Kaitlin Kamalei Brandon
(This article was originally published on Colorful Pages and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Black Lives Matter at School Week is the week of Monday, Feb. 1 to Friday, Feb. 5. It is based on a movement to recognize and honor Black lives. The week is built around the 13 values of the Black Lives Matter movement. Each day covers a few of these values:
- Monday: Restorative Justice, Empathy, and Loving Engagement
- Tuesday: Diversity and Globalism
- Wednesday: Trans-Affirming, Queer Affirming, and Collective Value
- Thursday: Intergenerational, Black Families, and Black Villages
- Friday: Black Women and Unapologetically Black
I am so excited for Black Lives Matter at School Week! It is such a special time where my students, families, school community, and I get to come together to talk about the Black Lives Matter values and how we can uplift and stand up with the Black members of our community. Remember: Every life cannot matter until Black Lives Matter.
The Black Lives Matter at School organization has some absolutely AMAZING (and free) resources to help you enact Black Lives Matter at School Week in your home, classroom, and/or library. There are also other organizations that have created free quality resources. Check out some those resources here:
Continue reading Black Lives Matter at School Week: A List of Picture Books
by Jacob Uitti
A day after giving birth to her fourth child, Catrice Dennis felt a strike of inspiration. Sitting on her bed at home with her newborn daughter, looking out the window to the world outside, Dennis whispered the words, “I love you just because.” Suddenly, the material for a new children’s book, I Love You Just Because, flooded her mind.
Continue reading Local Mother-Daughter Team Expresses Unconditional Love in Children’s Book