Free Books Program in DC Boosts Early Literacy: Critical Linking, November 9

Sponsored by The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew

The D.C. program launched in February 2016, and nearly 27,000 children are enrolled currently, or 57 percent of all eligible children. The program targets specific areas in the city — based on literacy rates, income and availability of resources — and has enrolled 78 percent of eligible children in those areas.

Linder, the program manager and a D.C. native, says he prioritizes getting the word out in communities where residents may not know such resources are available, such as public housing and homeless shelters. For some families, books from the program are the only ones in the home. And having them delivered by mail is particularly special.

What a rad program.

On Sept. 26 the group, led by psychologist Krista Aronson, launched the Diverse BookFinder, a database to help people find books with characters of color. The team aims to categorize all the books published or reprinted in the US since 2002 about people of color. What their research shows is that books about specific groups cluster heavily around specific narratives.


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