Did you know that, according to research out of Harvard University, children as young as 3 years old tend to accept racism when exposed to it? Or that, by 5 years old, white children typically have a strong bias towards whiteness? To counter this effect, experts suggest talking with children early about race and racism before any implicit bias becomes entrenched. And one of the most powerful tools for sparking discussions about race is literature. Now, one organization is doing the work to help dismantle racism by getting anti-racist books in the hands of today’s educators — for free.
The Conscious Kid gives teachers around the country access to some of the best books and resources about “race, racism, and resilience.” As the organization points out, many public school curricula remain white-centered, despite the fact that over 50 percent of students are students of color. Not to mention, it’s imperative for white children to learn about Black and Brown experiences so that (a) implicit biases are minimized and (b) they can recognize and disrupt racial inequality when they see it.
Enter, the Anti-Racist Book Education Fund. If you are an educator, administrator, school counselor, or librarian at a Title I elementary school, you can request to receive a free set of anti-racist books from The Conscious Kid for free.
It’s pretty easy, too. Simply fill out the designated form on the Conscious Kid’s website, and you should receive word back about your eligibility and subsequent status.
Impressively, since launching only six weeks ago, the fund has amassed more than $1 million in donations (kicked off with a $20,000 donation from Kendra Scott). Already, they’ve sent thousands of books to U.S. classrooms — a figure that will continue to grow as their donor list does. Not a teacher, but want to make a difference in today’s youth? Add your name to the donor list. It’s as easy as the click-of-a-button on the organization’s donation page.
If you are a teacher or educator but aren’t in a Title I elementary school, don’t let that deter you from using these books as an invaluable aid in your classroom. You can find the full list of 41 anti-racist children’s books that comprise the fund here. So, you can (and should!) purchase one or, like, all of them to foster critical conversations with the badass little future leaders whose brains you’re helping to mold. Parents, you can start your own collection, too.
“Beyond addressing issues of race and racism, these children’s books focus on taking action. They highlight resistance, resilience, and activism, and seek to empower youth to participate in the ongoing movement for racial justice,” the organization’s website underscores. “Children not only need to know what individual, systemic, and internalized racism looks like, they need to know what they can do about it.”
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