The Bedford Free Public Library, Bedford Embraces Diversity (BED), and the Parents Diversity Council (PDC) offer children from Pre-K through grade 5 and their families a chance to expand their bookshelves with a special “Spotlight on Diverse Stories” storytime on Saturday, August 22, at 10:30 am via Zoom.
The 45-minute event will highlight some of the best recent books and videos by culturally diverse authors, including YOU MATTER, the newest picture book by Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Honoree Christian Robinson, and the Oscar-winning short film HAIR LOVE, created by Matthew Cherry and based on his picture book of the same name.
The read-aloud and video will be interspersed with activities and discussion questions, including a special music-based activity to close out the session.
BFPL children’s librarians Bethany Klem and Elaine Garnache have also prepared supplemental reading lists of picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult titles for further exploration, which will be available to participants and the public after the event.
“This is a great opportunity to engage the younger generation in diversity and inclusion conversations through storytelling and easy-to-understand concepts,” said Nibha Jolly, the program coordinator from Bedford Embraces Diversity. “BED encourages everyone to participate and collaborate in these dialogues. We need to be the change agents for a more cohesive culture that we want our children to inherit. Bringing them along this journey with us will mean that they will organically embrace the reality of diversity, and see diversity as a core pillar of a thriving society.”
“One of the PDC’s goals is to be a source of information on issues related to race and racism for our students and families,” the PDC’s Lillian Younger said. “We believe in the importance of providing parents and caregivers with the resources to talk about race and racism with their children, and diverse literature is one of the most effective and engaging places to start.”
The event was sparked by conversations among Bedford Embraces Diversity, the PDC, and other interested Bedford residents wanting to bring more attention to stories by and about non-white people. BFPL has hundreds of wonderful books for students from Pre-K to high school by and about Black, Latinx, Native, Asian, and other people of color. As the BFPL librarians noted, however, too often white parents and other gatekeepers don’t know about or don’t choose these stories, so young people lose out on the opportunities to read and hear about a wide range of people, culture, and experiences. The event is free and open to all.
Visit https://www.bedfordlibrary.net/events/event/diverse-storytime/?fbclid=IwAR0YnvNrAZv8QU-GF3ZAfbr_joZ1B8UbgDy1zYYvmi4FWLvVQajgtyK7B1A for the Zoom meeting link and password