This Friday, January 28, marks the 10th annual celebration of “Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD)” an event designed to raise awareness of children’s books that celebrate diversity, and to make these books more available in classrooms and libraries.
MCBD was established as a non-profit organization in 2012 by Mia Wenjen, founder of a popular blog called Pragmatic Mom; and by Valarie Budayr, an award-winning children’s author and CEO of Audrey Press Books. The two passionate book lovers, concerned about the lack of diversity in books available to their own children, created a non-profit organization to highlight multicultural children’s books.
Today MCBD works with thousands of authors, publishers, and book reviewers, using its online platform to spotlight books that highlight not only diverse cultures and ethnicities, but also things like physical, developmental, and socio-economic challenges. While its primary objective is to serve as a resource for parents, educators and libraries, MCBD’s mission has evolved to support classroom programs, community celebrations, and online events. An annual list of newly reviewed books, dubbed “The Big Giant Linky,” is revealed during a Twitter party held on the last Friday in January. Go to #ReadYourWorld to join this year’s MCBD Twitter Party from 9-10 am on Friday, January 28th.
It stands to reason that the more exposure children have to people who are different from them, the more they learn about acceptance and kindness. For kids who are in the minority, reading books they can identify with will undoubtedly help them grow in confidence and ambition–and will hopefully foster in them a love of reading. So far, MCBD has donated more than 10,000 books to kids in underserved areas.
In honor of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, why not consider donating a book from one of the “Big Giant Linky” lists (available on the website) to Barbee or Harper Library? Or perhaps make a monetary donation to MCBD by clicking the “donate” link on their website.
To learn more about this organization and ways you can support it, go to www.multiculturalchildrensbookday.com.