Hi, we're the co-founders Kara & Kyle Cecchi of MOSS Kids Book Project -- a children's literacy 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization bringing diverse and inclusive books to all kids in all communities. After moving to a tiny rural town in NC, Pinetops, we noticed the lack of diverse and inclusive children's literature AND the lack of space/opportunities for children to access books, learn, grow, and be a part of their community.
So many children across the country right now are suffering from the lack of diverse and inclusive books. We want to change that. We did some research. We live in a diverse, underserved county. Our children's literacy scores are well below the state and national average. In our county, 15% of teens & young adults are neither in school nor working. We have over 11,000 kids under the age of 18 in our county & 37% of those children are living below the poverty line. That's more than 1.5x the rate in North Carolina and nearly double the rate in the United States. Through community surveys, the residents in our area have stressed a need for youth activities & spaces. Right now, our area has not been able to meet the needs of our youth & their families.
In this era of book bans & our current social climate, our youth deserves to see themselves and their history represented in books. Our youth also needs to see other people of different skin tones, ethnicities, and cultures in the books they read. And all children deserve to have a safe place to be themselves, to be kids. Books are an essential tool for teaching key concepts such as acceptance, understanding, kindness, and empathy. Books are an essential tool to start having challenging, empowering, and important conversations. Books are also an escape for kids, a way for them to imagine, to dream, to hope. Help us raise our youth differently.
Here's what we hope to do:
- Start a children's diverse bookmobile library where kids can be kids
- Fill that mobile library with diverse & inclusive books
- Create a youth community center within the library with pop-up clubs (lego club, allies clubs, book clubs, Mario Kart club, you get the idea) & storytimes
- Host free events: author/illustrator visits, yoga on weekends, guest speakers
- Be MOBILE so we can bring our community to families & neighborhoods
- Partner with local colleges to offer pop-up tutoring support to improve literacy scores at local Title 1 schools
This fundraiser is to help us with step 1 of our plan; purchasing a bus. Originally, we wanted to purchase a building. We toured the building. We loved the building. We envisioned our dreams coming true in that building. However, we couldn't afford that building. AND the more we thought about it, the more we realized that having a building isn't truly accessible to all. So we are making our dreams mobile. By creating a diverse bookmobile library, we are able to bring the books to families. We are able to bring our community to families. So, again, we are humbly asking for your help to create a safe space for kids to learn & grow. Help us give this deserving community a chance to thrive.