Community Reads™

Empowering the Future

Our Mission

Our mission is to change the mindsets of children in grades K-2 to be more open and accepting of different identities. Through our readings, we expose them to diverse cultures and subtly inform them about difficult issues in today’s climate that affect these identities.

We are working to combat ignorance within our society with the three core aspects of our program: live readings, activities of the month, and lifelong learning.

By gathering a plethora of books related to diversity and inclusion and reading them to the children, we hope to create a safe space for them to develop their identity. The activity of the month relates to the identity we are highlighting and helps the children become more engaged. Lifelong learning encourages children to read books about diversity on their own time by offering a prize after they read 10 books.

What We Do

Reading

We visit K-2 classrooms to read our monthly books related to a certain identity, such as race, gender, and religion. Our goal is to represent identities not commonly seen in popular media to expose children to diverse identities so they grow up with an open mind.
Kids Reading

Engaging

We will post monthly activities that relate to that month’s reading for participants to complete with their families. Parents/guardians are encouraged to share photos of their children engaging in these activities on social media.

Lifelong learning

We encourage participants to independently explore representative literature by sharing with them links to books with diverse characters. If participants read 10 or more of these books, they will receive a prize.

The Science Behind It

Recognition

Having preschool age children recognize the races of other people can reduce racial bias. Read More>>

https://ourcommunityreads.org/

Racial Bias

Racial bias starts as early as ages 4-5 years old. Read More>>

Exposure

Children who grow up with little understanding of different identities and cultures are more likely to commit hate crimes later in life. Read More>>

Literature

Exposing children to multicultural literature at a young age can diminish prejudicial thoughts about race. Read More>>

LGBTQ Rights

Being more supportive of equal rights for LGBTQ+ individuals causes them to feel more comfortable to identify themselves as LGBTQ+. Read More>>

Gender Beliefs

Girls have gender beliefs about intelligence as early as 6 years old. Read More>>

Community Impact

70+

Discussions

1154+

Children

11+

Books Read

7+

Locations

About Us

We want Baltimore to be a place filled with open minded citizens that make the community an inclusive, accepting space where all identities feel safe and welcome. 

We believe that through reading and listening to books, young children will grow up to not only be more open-minded and accepting of others’ identities, but also more accepting of their own identity.

girl with books

‘Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books.’

-Rudine Sims Bishop
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Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates on our readings and news on our program.

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