We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives children’s literature, is proud to announce their partnership with An Open Book Children’s Literacy Foundation (AOB) to kick off the WNDB Diversity in the Classroom program. An Open Book is a Washington, DC non-profit created to promote literacy among disadvantaged children and teens in the greater Washington, DC area. AOB takes authors and illustrators of children’s and teens’ books to disadvantaged schools and gives each child a copy of the author’s book to take home. It is often the first book the child has ever owned.
Dara La Porte, Founding Director of An Open Book, said, “We are thrilled about this partnership! Not only will more children have access to books about children who resemble them, but together we will be able to bring into classrooms more authors and illustrators to serve as mentors to the children who previously never conceived of writing or illustrating as professions open to them. ” WNDB President, Ellen Oh, agreed, stating, “Our two organizations couldn’t be more complimentary in our missions. An Open Book is already in the schools doing great work. Together we can make a huge difference.”
An Open Book founders Dara La Porte, Heidi Powell, and Education Director Janet Zwick will help WNDB launch the Diversity in the Classroom program in January 2015, along with First Book and the National Education Association. Diversity in the Classroom will feature authors such as Don Tate, Kelly Starling-Lyons, Susan Kuklin, Renee Watson, Cece Bell.
WNDB will be launching their #SupportWNDB IndieGoGo campaign this Friday, October 24. Since its inception earlier this year, WNDB has gone from a social media hashtag campaign to globally-recognized movement and incorporated non-profit. This 30-day fundraiser will serve to make numerous initiatives a reality, including Diversity in the Classroom, the 2016 Diversity Festival, the Walter Dean Myers Award and Grant, and more.
The group will open with a soft launch on Twitter, joining author assistant Kate Tilton (@k8tilton) for a Twitter chat at 9PM (EST) on Thursday, October 23. Using the hashtag #k8chat, the group will discuss the organization and its goals. After the official launch of the IndieGoGo campaign on Friday, there will be a series of events mirroring WNDB’s inaugural campaign, including online chats, and requests for user participation.
On Friday, October 24 at 1PM (EST), users can join WNDB on Twitter with the hashtag #SupportWNDB to share their reasons for supporting the initiatives. A series of templates for use in photos will be available, and supporters are invited to snap a picture and once again submit to the We Need Diverse Books official Tumblr. Prizes and perks will be offered both through official social media channels and through the IndieGoGo page, including signed artwork, literary agent critiques, books, WBDB swag, and more. IndieGoGo campaign donations will be tax deductible outside the value of perks received.
For additional information and updates about WNDB, supporters are encouraged to sign up for their newsletter.