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Rainbow Freedom Library

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Hi. My name is Willie Carver, and I am the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year and the former coordinator of Open Light, an LGBTQ-affirming group at Montgomery County High School in Mount Sterling, Kentucky.

This is a group of phenomenal children who do amazing things. They raised money for hurricane victims. They clean local parks. They do presentations on mental health and do advocacy work. They even built a history curriculum and taught themselves women's, Black, and LGBTQ history after school!

These are high schoolers!

Their biggest dream was to buy books for their library that had more Black, brown, and LGBTQ characters and authors. They wanted to feel seen and learn about others. Their dedication was so great that they even won a $4,000 Grant from the It Gets Better Project to buy books.

I worked with a young adult specialist to create a list of books, worked with a local bookstore to get a 20% discount and even more books ... only for their school to reject 100% of the donation.

The students were not allowed to have those books. They worked so hard, but their dreams were shattered.

I refuse to let people so young feel so powerless. A local arts center, the Gateway Regional Arts Center, has agreed to host the books and to create a rainbow freedom library!

We hope to create mechanisms so that students who can't afford to drive in can order the books and have them sent to their homes. No one should be too poor or rural to have access to books that give them hope.

We are hoping to raise some money for shipping. We also want to expand the collection. Anything you give will be spent directly on purchasing new books or making sure that they are sent to students who need them. Whether the shipping works out or not, 100% of the donations will be given to the Rainbow Library!

Thank you for your help!


  • Felicia Messer
    • $10 
    • 5 mos
  • Jeana Lawson
    • $20 
    • 6 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 7 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 7 mos
  • Mary Dittert
    • $20 
    • 8 mos


Willie Carver
Mount Sterling, KY

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