The project is aiming to donate 250,000 books to primary school-aged children
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE VIA CHILDREN’S BOOK PROJECT ON INSTAGRAM
In an exciting moment for LGBTQI representation in schools, the Children’s Book Project has collaborated with Letterbox Library to create “Everyone’s Story”. Working towards increasing the volume of inclusive books in schools, the project will be gifting picture and chapter books which depict underrepresented people, championing diversity and equality.
A fantastic project championing education and inclusion, The Children’s Book Project aims to end book poverty through taking donations of gently used, preloved books and gifting them to children with little books of their own. According to the organisation, 1 in 8 children from deprived backgrounds do not own any books: in the coming year, it pledges to donate 250,000 books to primary school-aged children with a household income of less than £7500 per year, women’s refuges, food banks, refugee groups and prison family liaison services alike.
Working alongside The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, a small charity administering research on representation in literature, Letterbox Library is a not-for-profit organisation. Donating to 30 primary schools in the new year, this is a collaborative effort: a grassroots organisation spearheaded entirely by volunteers, donations to their Just Giving Page are very welcome.
“Letterbox Library is a small not-for-profit cooperative (currently also run/owned by lesbians) which has been supplying diverse, representative and inclusive books to the education sector since 1983. Our longevity is testament to teachers’ ongoing hunger for books in which their whole school’s community can see themselves. And, in recent years, it’s been really heartening to see schools being (finally!) much bolder in asking us for LGBT-inclusive books. Both nurseries and schools have been especially keen for story books which show, effortlessly and ‘casually’ families headed up by two mums or two dads. And, at last, teachers are seeking out books starring trans characters. Our classrooms haven’t gone full-rainbow just yet…but the signs are promising!”, the organisation states.
Fen from Letterbox Library elaborates: “In our experience, over the last few years especially, primary schools have been very keen to buy in books which include LGBTQ+ representations. Projects such as No Outsiders, Inclusion For All (we provided/provided book packs for the first two), Educate & Celebrate and the historic Schools Out have all done some really interesting work in primary schools around LGBTQ+ inclusion. And, all have made use of picture books as part of their embedding of LGBTQ+ equality within the classroom.”
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