Action Item: Bilingual Books in NY and WA

Late last year, librarian Angie Manfredi took to Twitter with a challenge: How many classrooms in need could the book community fund over the course of one day? Other librarians and bloggers and authors and industry folk joined in, and it quickly became apparent that there were a whole lot of people out there just itching to do some good, whether by spreading the word or opening their wallets or both.

On Inauguration Day, we (we being Kelly Jensen and Leila Roy) put together a list of classrooms in need, with a focus on classrooms that served immigrant, refugee, and ESL communities. With the help of Book Twitter, every single one of those classrooms was fully funded by the end of the day. Since then, every Friday, we’ve continued to highlight and advocate for similar classrooms, and again and again Book Twitter has come through.

Now, we’re bringing our Fund ‘Em Fridays to you, the Book Riot Community. Please boost, donate if you can, or even pick out a classroom to personally champion!

And now, our classrooms of the week! Both serve largely immigrant populations of students who are learning English as a second (and in some cases, third or fourth) language:

Building a Bilingual Book Collection in the School Library in Bay Shore, NY:

My students need bilingual, Spanish-English books. Many of these deserving young people have had no formal education and many have not mastered basic native language skills upon which to build.

Saying “Hello” in . . . in Des Moines, WA:

My students need 47 world language dictionaries and language learning books in their school library in order to better accommodate the spectrum of languages students speak, and those they want to learn.

Sometimes, the sheer enormity of all of the wrongs we have to right, the injustices we have to fight, the work we have to do… it can feel overwhelming. Funding a single classroom might feel like a drop in the bucket. But a single drop of water causes ripples, and a single classroom ultimately serves a larger community. Small actions make change. Join us.

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