Ursula K. Le Guin
Invest in Bee Me Bookshelf!!
What is Bee Me Bookshelf?
Bee Me Bookshelf is a monthly subscription children's book borrowing service committed to providing access to not only important books that reflect the diversity that is our world, but also a robust curriculum to help children think through and understand the words they are reading. Each month the experts at Bee Me Bookshelf will select a dynamic theme to focus on, and we will curate a collection of books with children of color as the protagonists around this theme. We create a centerpiece through which discussions with your child can focus on empowerment, education, and cultivating a love of themselves and reading. Our purpose is to expose children to a range of representations of ethnicity, culture, and class. We are committed to diversity in children's books because this is not only an issue that affects children of color, it is an issue that affects all children. All children should benefit from seeing the world as it actually is. The world is not flat or homogeneous and our books should reflect the variety, flavor, and richness of our world. Bee Me Bookshelf is committed to making a difference. For every 10 annual subscriptions secured, Bee Me Bookshelf will offer a free 10-month subscription to a classroom in need.
Why Bee Me Bookshelf?
Bee Me Bookshelf was founded on the premise that all children, no matter their gender, race, or ethnicity, should be able to see themselves as the movers, the do-ers, the center of their story books. They should be able to literally see protagonists who they can relate to and who look like them when they turn the pages of their story books. Writers such as Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, among many others, lamented the fact that as children they could not find themselves in literature. Alice Walker says she was forced to "write all the things I should have read." Morrison writes that she was inspired to write because "the people in literature were always peripheral---little black girls who were props, background, those people were never center stage, and those people were me." Reading is an essential part of growth and unlike the experiences that Morrison, Walker, and countless other writers of color face, I want my children and children from all over the world to have the opportunity to see their reflections in the books they read. Our children are important, valuable, and loved, and they are no less than their peers.
As an English teacher and biracial mother of two intelligent, curious, and book-loving little girls, I have always been fairly demanding of our stories. At story time I would come with the lofty hope that each book would empower, encourage, engage, and instruct my daughters. I hoped they would see themselves reflected in the brave and resourceful protagonists. I wanted them to be transported to far off lands to learn more about cultures beyond their own. As my eldest daughter has gotten older, finding children's books with protagonists of color in bookstores, libraries, or even online has grown harder. Bookstores and websites struggle to keep up with the demands of a diverse population and local libraries have mile long waitlists for specific texts or simply do not carry authors that write outside of the all-animal-characters or white protagonist realm.
What will a Bee Me Bookshelf Subscription offer?
- a monthly box of quality books (anywhere from 4-8 depending on subscription level) to borrow or buy with a variety of protagonists of color selected by a group of experts including teachers, principals, and reading specialists
-a curriculum card with plot-based questions, discussion questions, and vocabulary words to accompany and enrich each book
-an engaging monthly theme to encourage questions and discussion with your child
-an interactive activity that incorporates the books and monthly theme
How will my contribution be used?
Bee Me Bookshelf will use all contributions to purchase books, develop our website, pay for branding, and start-up expenses.
I hope that you will consider investing in Bee Me Bookshelf to promote a love of reading, greater awareness, and a love of self for ALL children.