All our children need to see themselves in the books they read, and see into the lives of others to help them understand the world - and their place in it.
Diverse bookshelves for schools
With your help, Rochelle Humes and Little Box of Books are going to send thousands of diverse and inclusive storybooks to primary schools all over the UK. We want our children to grow up to be anti-racist, to grow up understanding that 'normal' is different for everyone. We need children to understand and celebrate diversity and to see themselves represented in all aspects, and at all levels, of society. Change begins with children.
Only 4% of children’s books published in 2018 had a main character of Black, Asian or minority ethnic origins - despite the fact that 33% of our schoolchildren are of Black, Asian or minority ethnic origins.
We need to Change the Story
Children reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of future success; we know that if a child learns to love reading, they have a better chance of doing well in all subjects at school and in later life. But children who do not recognise themselves in books are much less likely to engage with them. Many schools do not have library space at all – and these schools are often in the most disadvantaged areas.
Stop the Damage
Stories can excite and inspire, but they can also perpetuate stereotype and privilege, negatively affecting a child’s ability to recognise and realise their potential. Over time, certain ideas cement themselves in a child’s mind: that all superheroes are white, all explorers come from rich families, or all detectives are male. The damage is subtle, rarely discussed, and ultimately devastating.
Everybody's different, everybody's normal
Inclusive books remind children that there are many different normalities beyond their own. They can encourage children to dream bigger, more ambitious dreams. Inclusive books can help children recognise their own white privilege. Inclusive books can inspire confidence, excitement and a sense that any child can achieve their potential, regardless of the colour of their skin, their gender or their background.
After 3 months of coronavirus lockdown, children have spent an unprecedented amount of time in their own version of normal. Now, more than ever before they are going to need books to show how wonderfully diverse families, communities and societies are. Books will help them transition back into school life, will once again provide a valuable outside influence they so desperately need to develop open minded, understanding and respectful people.
Diverse libraries for all schools
We believe all primary schools need a full, diverse and vibrant collection of children’s books. They need real life books that they don't read off a device or via an app. Through our campaign ‘Change the Story’, Little Box of Books is going to raise £55,000 – enough to deliver 10,000 beautifully written, potentially life-changing books to hundreds of schools in underprivileged parts of the UK. Books that reflect the wonderful diversity of our population, helping the next generation to celebrate and embrace difference, helping them to unleash their true potential.
How your money will be spent
£50 will fund an inclusive bookshelf in a school
£100 provides a classroom with a collection of inclusive books
£500 provides one school in a disadvantaged area with a library of books, promoting a love of reading in thousands of children
£1,000 provides one school in a disadvantaged area with an inclusive library of books AND gives you the opportunity to nominate a school of your choice. They will receive a library full of inclusive books, doubling your impact.
Little Box of Books supplies diverse and inclusive book boxes to families and schools in subscription and one-off boxes.
Your donations will help them to reach even more children with books that better reflect our population. To find out more about what they do, head to www.littleboxofbooks.co.uk
Zero-Contact film produced by: @LiteSwitchTV