Beyond the Bookshelf

Creating a Brighter Future Through A Love of Reading

When we think about the importance of literacy, we cannot stop at what learning happens in the classroom We factor in how a child’s identity – their ethnicity, race, social class, etc.-- can be nurtured while also introducing them to the vast world that is walking in another person’s shoes. Allowing children a space to explore what it means to be empathetic shows them that diversity is a key component to understanding the world around them. 
Children’s Literacy Initiative has had the honor of employing literacy experts and champions to ensure that the books we select for all our collections reflect the children, teachers, and families we serve. As we continue to take ground in schools across the country, we’re excited to take a sampling of our practices outside of the classroom and put it into the hands of parents and caregivers across the country. 

What does it mean to go beyond the bookshelf?

Our movement only starts with selecting and recommending high-quality books. Each bundle comes with a reading guide filled with ways for parents and caregivers to lead an interactive exploration into the books they’re reading with children. 

See a sample of our reading guides below:

What we see is that "often white students don’t have windows into the racism that their peers face—and if they don’t see it, they can’t help stop it.” As children learn to identify and respond to the world around them, they can glean information from the books they read and better understand their Black and Latinx peers. Going beyond the bookshelf allows the next generation of young readers to become world changers, and these bundles are just the place to start. 

Building Upon Our Mission

We’ve made it clear: Literacy is the very foundation of all learning and the pathway to liberation for every human being.  As an anti-racist early literacy organization, we understand that there is no point at which we ‘arrive’. Literacy is a vital pathway to create lasting social change and foster a just and equitable society. 

Explore our bundles here, or show your support by sharing images and messages from our social media tool kit. Interested in getting books like these in your school? Connect with us today. 

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