Stand for Children Indiana (Stand) and a few authors with Indiana ties have teamed up to create a summer reading campaign focused on teaching youth about race and racism. Through the campaign, parents and young people can take a pledge to read at least 20 minutes a day to combat summer learning loss. In exchange for taking the reading pledge, children, starting next week, can receive a free book aimed at educating and sparking conversation about racial justice.
Stand has sourced several race-themed texts for all ages. These book lists are provided online, and the upcoming book giveaways will feature many of these titles. Included in the free books offered to families are titles written by these minority authors with Indianapolis connections:
- Brandon Warren, local activist and author of “B Inspired,” is a Warren Central graduate. Brandon was thrust into the movement for racial justice after he lost his best friend to gun violence.
- India Kelvonia is a local educator and the author of “Marisol’s Hair.” As a teacher, she saw how Black students often read about characters for whom they could not relate. That inspired her to become an author and create a princess character relatable to Black children.
- Whitney Geathers is the author of “You Can Too” and “The Day Brown Went Away.” She happens to be married to Colts free agent Safety Clayton Geathers. Whitney’s journey into motherhood inspired her to write about influential Black leaders and focus on using stories to increase the confidence of Black children.
Stand’s book giveaways events will take place:
Tuesday, June 30 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. LOCATION: Phalen Leadership Academy at 103, 3920 Baker Drive, 46234
Tuesday, July 7 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. LOCATION: Stand Indiana Offices, 546 E 17th Street, 46202
*Both events will take place outside and take into account social distancing. Families will be able to stay in their car and drive through stations where they can work with a volunteer to select their books. One age appropriate book per child will be given while supplies last.
“Children reading for just 20 minutes a day develops the mind, enhances vocabulary, fuels imagination and promotes creativity,” said Indiana Regional Organizing Director and IPS mother Ashley Thomas. “At this time in our history, we also know that children need an outlet to talk about race, celebrate their heritage and discuss any trauma that’s been experienced by seeing these images of police brutality.
“We see this campaign as a way to tie all of this together and support families in having these difficult discussions at home.”
To take the reading pledge, learn more about the book giveaways or review the recommended summer reading list, families can visit: stand.org/Indiana/join-us-summer-reading.
Stand Indiana offered special thanks to IndyReads for their support in purchasing many of the books for families.