Another African-American child is vigorously advocating for the availability of books in which Black children can see themselves.
Sidney Keys III, an 11-year-old from St. Louis, launched his own reading club for boys, called Books N Bros, St. Louis Public Radio reports.
“Books N Bros is a book club for boys, and we read books and African-American literature because every time I go to the library at my school, there aren’t many African-American literature books there,” he told the radio station.
Sidney’s inspirational moment came during a visit to EyeSeeMe, a bookstore that promotes African-American children’s literature, said Sidney’s mother, Winnie Caldwell.
She recorded a video of Sidney in the bookstore that went viral, attracting more than 63,000 viewers and shared more than 1,700 times.
[Insert Facebook video]
Caldwell summed up the experience, from St. Louis Public Radio:
“He hadn’t seen [a bookstore] like that before and I certainly never had, so he was making himself comfortable on the floor, reading a book. … When you get to a point when he is 11 years old and it was so shocking for him to relate to someone on the cover in a positive aspect rather than it be some negative urban story we see a lot. I would like to make sure he sees himself in being whatever he can be.”
That led Sidney to create a book club so that others could share his experience. Books N Bros targets boys 8-10 years old from all backgrounds.
“We specifically reach out to boys around ages 8-10 because that is statistically the age they stop reading — we wanted to combat that,” Caldwell explained.
For a monthly membership fee of $20, they receive a book, worksheets and a snack during meetings at EyeSeeMe. A Black male mentor meets with the boys at each meeting.
Looking to the future, Sidney envisions a Books N Bros club in cities across the nation.
SOURCE: St. Louis Public Radio
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