First Book Confronts Lack of Diversity in Kid’s Books

By Jason Boog Comment

As you can see by the sobering First Book infographic embedded above, out of 3,600 books for kids, only 3.3 percent focused on the lives of African Americans and 1.5 percent focused on Latinos.

At this year’s Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI), the literacy nonprofit First Book pledged to fight these glaring statistics. The group unveiled a two-year plan to help thousands of young readers. The push began in March In March 2013, First Book bought “$1 million worth of culturally-diverse content” from Harper Collins and Lee & Low Books. Here’s more about the initiative, from the release:

As part of its CGI commitment, over the next two years, First Book will: Add another 30,000 Title I classrooms and community programs to its network, giving them permanent, ongoing access to First Book’s resources. Provide matching grants resulting in 600,000 culturally-relevant books and resources to kids in need. Create 9,000 collections (50 books each), featuring a wide array of culturally diverse titles. Conduct a landmark assessment of educators in underserved communities to determine exactly what resources they need most. Convene authors, illustrators, and other leaders to inform new content selection and inspire new and diverse artists to approach publishers with their work.