Campaign to diversify the bookshelves of schools across the UK

Campaign to diversify the bookshelves of schools across the UK

Children’s book company Little Box of Books has launched a crowdfunder and with the support of presenter, author and musician Rochelle Humes hopes to diversify the bookshelves of schools across the UK

In a report released last year it was revealed that only 4% of children’s books published in 2018 had a black, Asian or minority ethnic main character, meaning 96% of main characters were either white, animals or inanimate objects.

The crowdfunder,  ‘Change the Story’ is raising £55,000 to diversify the bookshelves in some of the most disadvantaged schools in the UK.

“I am a big advocate of driving representation of the BAME community through literature, which is one of the reasons why I started writing children’s books. The best way to stamp out racism is through awareness and by educating children at grassroots level. Stories are the window into the wider world, and the more that children are exposed to different people from different backgrounds, the more accepting they will be as they grow.”

Owner and founder of Little Box of Books Lynsey Pollard believes it’s crucial that every primary school should have a full and diverse collection of inclusive children’s books, fully accessible to all pupils.

“We want our children to grow up to be anti-racist, to accept difference with understanding and respect. Whether that’s differences in skin colour, family set up, socioeconomic background, disabilities. But this is at odds with the books we give them; we can’t keep giving children lessons on the importance of accepting and celebrating diversity, telling them everybody is different and everybody is normal, then sending them back to bookshelves which don’t back that message up.”

Amanda Matsangou, the Assistant Headteacher of Newton Leys Primary School, Milton Keynes has recently diversified her school library with inclusive children’s books and says;

“Our school is incredibly diverse, but it has been an exceptionally hard and time-consuming process to even begin to find story books that feature characters that our pupils identify with. Little Box of Books has curated book collections that are much more reflective of the UK population. They remind our children that anything is possible”

The crowdfunder launched on Friday 12th June. To find out more about the project and to donate head to www.crowdfunder/changethestory

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