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Multicultural Children's Book Day ~ January 27 

Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom have teamed up to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event.  On January 27th, Jump into a Book and Pragmatic Mom will be presenting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books. What exactly are multicultural books and why are they so important?


 *Books that contain characters of color as well as characters that represent a minority point of view. Children need to “find themselves” within the pages of the books they read.


* Books that share ideas, stories and information about cultures, race, religion, language and traditions.


* Books that embrace our world and offer children new ways to connect to a diverse and richer world.


Multicultural Children’s Book Day will include book reviews from noted bloggers all over the world, giveaways and book-related activities for young readers of all ages. The MCCBD team will also be partnering with First Book to create a Virtual Book Drive for the event, and with The Children’s Book Council to offer readers quality resources along with fun and informative author visits.


Together the MCCBD team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. Readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians are encouraged to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, multicultural children’s book linky and via the hashtag #ReadYourWorld. ~ (Source MCBD website)


Here at WaterBridge Outreach we wholeheartedly agree on the importance of diversity in children’s literature! Each year we donate book sets to schools, libraries and literacy centers in developing countries and we select the books based on criteria that fulfill WBO’s goals of bridging cultures and opening minds, and promoting greater understanding and empathy among young people from different backgrounds, countries and ethnicities. We specifically look for books that celebrate diversity and are convinced of the crucial role of an education that fosters understanding and empathy for others from cultures different from their own. 


The books that we choose have a particular purpose: to provide multicultural or trans-cultural stories for children that promote awareness and positive acceptance of “the other” in ways children can learn from and enjoy. WaterBridge Outreach’s mission is to inspire empathy in children for the cultural “other” and in so doing, to promote global understanding and peace. Because of the adversity often faced by children and families in poor rural areas where WBO seeks to promote literacy and global understanding, the books we select often portray young people of different ethnicities overcoming adversity of one kind or another and determined to make a positive difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. 


To learn more about our book donations visit our Projects Now page and also read our interview with Dr. Barbara Bundy, WBO’s Books + Education Coordinator. If you'd like to help support WaterBridge Outreach's multicultural book donations to children in great need of books in impoverished areas of the world, click here to be taken to our donate page. WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water is a California 501(c)(3) organization.


Published January 2015.


To access our archive of Books + Literacy Updates click here.



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