Books. Courtesy of I stock.

Brooklyn organization aims to bring diverse books to the Bronx with new initiative

In an effort to address limited book access in the Bronx, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit has launched a 10-day fundraiser to raise $20,000 to bring diverse children’s books to kids in the South Bronx.

Literary nonprofit Start Lighthouse and the publishing house Mango & Marigold Press initiative #1001DiverseBooks are jointly sponsoring the fundraiser, which, will run from Nov. 29 to Friday, Dec. 10. They hope to bring 2,000 books to underserved Bronx children as well as bring children’s book author Sheetal Sheth to the Bronx for three events where children will receive books that highlight diversity.

The organizers said the community is in great need of such an initiative. In an average community of  concentrated poverty, there is only one age-appropriate book per 300 children compared to more affluent areas where there are often13 books per child, they said in a news release.

The pandemic only exacerbated access to books in areas like the South Bronx — an area where children’s books are sometimes seen as luxury items. The current closure of all four local libraries for repairs, with reliance on visits on traveling bookmobiles, has further limited access to books for children and adults.

Those interested in donating to help fundraiser organizers meet their $20,000 goal can do so here.

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