Representation matters. Every child deserves to see themselves, their cultures, and their families authentically represented in the stories they read. However, many students, unfortunately, do not always have access to storybooks with diverse casts of characters and plots — that’s where the Belonging Through Books Project comes in!
Funded by a RemotEDx grant from the Ohio Department of Education, the priority of this project is to ensure that 36 school libraries in Central Ohio’s most diverse school districts have books that authentically represent the students they serve. To accomplish this goal, we have partnered with Harper’s Corner, a local non-profit that continuously works to curate a list of age-appropriate diverse and inclusive storybooks that they donate to local schools. Together with our partners, we have created a custom set of guides to accompany each book to help foster healthy discussions with students. In addition to providing these books and guides, our educational consultants have created a series of professional learning courses for educators at participating schools to have all of the tools and resources they need to guide authentic discussions regarding the topics covered in the books.
To ensure students have access to quality stories outside of school, we have worked with many of the authors and publishers from Harper’s Corner’s book list to produce a series of digital read-alouds! Each video features close-ups of the book being read so viewers can follow along and enjoy the illustrations.Go To YouTube Playlist
About our partners
Harper’s Corner is a grassroots, volunteer-driven effort founded by local parents committed to bringing about positive change in our communities. The mission of Harper’s Corner is to build awareness and education around diversity and inclusion by donating age-appropriate children’s books to community elementary schools and libraries. You can learn more at www.harperscorner.org.
Teacher Campus is an online subscription-based professional learning platform for educators. This collaborative effort from WOSU, SOITA, and CET seeks to provide high-quality, personalized learning opportunities to early childhood and K-12 educators through a mix of self-paced and live virtual courses covering a variety of topics from social-emotional skills, lesson development, and technology integration. Learn more at teachercampus.org.
RemotEDx is a state-level initiative that brings together a mix of remote, hybrid, and blended learning partners from across the state to help schools enhance, expand, and more effectively scale high-quality remote, hybrid, and blended education delivery models. RemotEDx recently awarded subgrants to nonprofit and community-based organizations partnering with schools to help improve, enhance and enrich remote caring, teaching, and learning opportunities for Ohio’s most underserved students. The Belonging Through Books project was one of 17 projects chosen from a pool of 150 applications.