To see the world through the eyes of a child is something so breathtaking and, quite frankly, it is the reason I became a teacher. The curiosity, imagination, and genuine ability to love fiercely are qualities I admire in my students. Books help shape these abilities. Ask any of my students, or children in our reading program, what my favorite part of teaching is and they would easily answer story time. Whether I am yelling in my raspiest Froggy voice (which isn’t all too hard for me to pull off) or diving deep into the importance of teaching Black History all year, “my kids” are engaged. Kids are intrinsically motivated to learn and deepen their knowledge. Books provide this service. Kids also love a good adventure or a silly tale that doesn’t serve any purpose other than to make you chuckle. Books give us this opportunity.
With America turning to digital learning as a means to continue education I am immensely grateful that my students have the opportunity to still hear me read stories to them via devices at home. But what about kids who don’t have access? Equity in education does not exist. Sure, we have tried to paint a pretty picture through initiatives such as No Child Left Behind; however, this has never been the case. Distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting privilege on various levels. Many children don’t have the ability to login to a device at home. They may not have household libraries or a parent who is fortunate enough to work from the safety of their own home. This creates a multitude of challenges that teachers across the country are currently working to alleviate.
We at Kind Cotton want to help. But how? It probably goes without saying, but our reading program has been put on hold due to the pandemic, so we have been tirelessly thinking of ways we can continue to put books in the hands of kids during this time. With a couple of prospects falling through, we turned to other organizations for help. We excitedly came across First Book, an organization that has been dedicated to providing books to children across America since 1992. Although their mission has remained the same, their goals have shifted in response to COVID-19. They are currently looking to place 8 MILLION books into the homes of children through various outlets, specifically focusing on children needing books at home during this crisis.
First Book is also supporting educators during this time by compiling free resources for distance learning. Knowing that an organization is out there working relentlessly to deliver books to children, just like we are, gave us hope. Hope that, in this time of uncertainty, there is still such beauty and kindness in our world.
Along with our contribution, all sales for the month of April will help fund their mission. Knowing that we won’t be making a trip to Alta Vista later this month hurts, but staying home now is what’s most important. And knowing that the community we surround ourselves with has made it possible for 5,000+ books to be delivered to children slightly eases the current pain of the unknown.
Let’s see how many more we can add to this donation together!
As always, we thank you, admire you, and love you! Let’s shine a little light and kindness into the world!