WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 9, 2023) – The Diverse Books for All Coalition, a national collaboration of 38 nonprofits working to tackle the lack of affordable, diverse children’s books, is partnering with MomsRising to bring the insights and perspective of parents to help shape the Coalition’s work. As part of that mandate, MomsRising will create and facilitate a parent ambassador group to provide ongoing input regarding diverse books and the resources that parents and caregivers need to advocate for and use them.
The 2020 U.S. Census revealed that 53 percent of U.S. children are non-white, yet children’s books do not reflect that diversity. Out of 3,450 children’s books published in the U.S. in 2022 and reviewed by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, 493 have a Black/African American primary or significant secondary character (fiction) or human subject (nonfiction), setting, or topic; 369 feature Asian; 238 feature Latine; and 60 feature Indigenous peoples.
“In our increasingly diverse nation and world, all children need access to diverse books – regardless of their parents’ socio-economic, racial or cultural background,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of the nonprofit First Book, which spearheaded the launch of the Diverse Books for All Coalition. “This is especially critical for children growing up in historically under-represented communities. The Coalition has a bold goal: to ensure that young children across the country have consistent access to books that reflect their families and communities – as well as books that help them learn about others. MomsRising will ensure that the voices and perspectives of parents and caregivers – who know their children best – are front and center in our work.”
Building upon its long experience, MomsRising will develop and support a panel of parents to provide real-time feedback on diverse books, help parents and caregivers recognize the benefits they offer, and provide them with resources to make them accessible to children and youth. Those resources may include webinars, trainings, videos, and tool kits.
“MomsRising members – and moms all across the country – are eager to find quality children’s books that reflect the experiences of their communities,” said Nina Perez, MomsRising’s national director for early learning. “When children read more, and see themselves in the books they read, it expands their horizons and helps them discover new interests and passions. MomsRising is delighted to join the Diverse Books for All Coalition, to contribute our experiences and expertise, and to support the very important work the Coalition does.”
Launched in October 2022, the Diverse Books for All Coalition is working to increase access to affordable, high-quality, children’s books by and about diverse races, cultures, abilities, and identities, with a goal of doubling the number of affordable, quality diverse children’s books over the next five years.
To support educational and racial equity, the Diverse Books for All Coalition, which includes many of the nation’s largest nonprofits that distribute books to children, will leverage the power of aggregate buying to influence the availability and pricing of diverse children’s books for members, who serve children in low-income communities; frame a narrative to promote the importance of diverse books for all children; and provide educators, parents, and caregivers with support and resources to advocate for and use diverse books. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded First Book with a $1 million, 18-month grant to support the Coalition’s work.
Members of the Coalition are: First Book, American Academy of Pediatrics-CA3, Barbershop Books, Birdie’s Book Mobile, Book Harvest, Books for Kids, BookSpring, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Future Forward, Heart of America, Homegrown, Jumpstart, Leaders Readers Network, MomsRising, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Black Child Development Institute, National Parent Leadership Institute, ParentChild+, Parents as Teachers, Promising Pages, Raising a Reader, Reach Out and Read, Inc., Reach Out and Read Greater New York, Reach Out and Read Rhode Island, Read On Arizona, Reading Is Fundamental, Room to Read, Save the Children, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Start Early, The American Federation of Teachers, The Patterson Foundation, Too Small to Fail, Turn the Page KC, UnidosUS, United Through Reading, We Need Diverse Books, and ZERO TO THREE.
About the Diverse Books for All Coalition
The Diverse Books for All Coalition is a national consortium of nonprofits and membership organizations working together to increase access to affordable, diverse children’s books. The consortium’s priorities include collective purchasing, narrative/message development to underscore the value and benefits of diverse and inclusive representation in books, and resource development to enable educators and parents/caregivers to transform how children, educators, and communities access, engage with and benefit from diverse books. Learn more at www.diversebooksforall.org.
MomsRising.org is an on-the-ground and online grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to increase family economic security, stop discrimination against women and moms, and build a nation where businesses and families can thrive. Established in 2006, MomsRising and its members are organizing and speaking out to improve public policy and to change the national dialogue on issues that are critically important to America’s families. MomsRising maintains a Spanish language website: MamásConPoder.org. Sign up online at www.MomsRising.org — and follow us on our blog, and on Twitter and Facebook.
About First Book
Founded in Washington, D.C., in 1992 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit social enterprise, First Book is a leader in the educational equity field. Over its 30-year history, First Book has distributed more than 225 million books and educational resources, with a retail value of more than $2 billion. First Book believes education offers children in need the best path out of poverty. First Book breaks down barriers to quality education by providing its Network of more than 550,000 registered teachers, librarians, after school program leaders, and others serving children in need with millions of free and affordable new, high-quality books, educational resources, and basic needs items through the award-winning First Book Marketplace nonprofit eCommerce site. The First Book Network comprises the largest and fastest-growing community of formal and informal educators serving children in need.
First Book also expands the breadth and depth of the education field through a family of social enterprises, including First Book Research & Insights, its proprietary research initiative, and the First Book Accelerator, which brings best-in-class research-based strategies to the classroom via relevant, usable educator resources. First Book Impact Funds target support to areas of need, such as rural communities or increasing diversity in children’s books. For more information about First Book, please visit www.firstbook.org.