MOLINE, IL (WQAD ) — Amanda Carter is taking action, and started a Facebook fundraiser called “Fill Our Schools with Diverse Books” to get more multicultural books in school libraries across the Quad Cities.
The mother of three boys says the idea started at home.
“In our house, we’ve always tried to have diverse books,” Amanda says. “I’ve noticed with my son Benji that he;s brought home a lot of books from school. Sometimes those books come back frequently, and the ones that do are the ones he can relate to.”
She believes that all kids in the area can benefit from reading more diverse books.
“Just as important as I think it is for my kids, and kids of all races, black and biracial kids, to see books that resemble them, I think its equally important for white kids to see that too,” Amanda says.
Amanda’s husband Brett says he’s impressed to see his wife start this fundraiser.
“I was really proud of my wife for bringing the idea to life, to really get involved and demonstrate her allyship and her passion for equity for everyone,” he says.
Moline-Coal Valley Schools Librarian Melissa Gravert says multicultural and diverse books are for everyone.
“It’s an amazing thing when a student sees themself in a book,” Gravert says. “Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop teaches that students need books that are a mirror, that reflect them… And then of course, books that are windows where students can see other people and other experiences.”
The Carter family hopes more books like these in the community can spread a powerful message.
“This is a quote from Nelson Mandela, I’m paraphrasing here, ‘Racism is learned and that means love can be taught,'” Brett says.
“Hopefully with a lot of these books, we’re promoting that activism piece, that social justice and that diversity,” Amanda says. “So as (our kids) grow older, they’ll use their voices and sy something.”
As of Friday, June 12th, more than 100 people donated $4,000 to the fundraiser. So far, that’ll help buy more than 300 books.