I know this to be true: Children with access to a broad range of perspectives, those who understand that one must look at history through a variety of lenses and consider the motivations of the historians who came before them, will grow up to be educated, open-minded individuals who have a much better chance of having a positive impact on the world.
It is imperative that we teach our children critical thinking skills as well as the ability to be humble. If they don’t discover that “our way” is not the only way, they will be incapable of thinking outside the box to create the solutions that their generation will surely need for their survival. If they don’t learn about the many choices in this world, they will not be capable of making informed decisions in their own lives.
There is a trend in our schools to cut off access to any knowledge that might offend closed-minded adults, and we allow this to happen at our peril. I want our future leaders to know some things without question:
- Other cultures have other perspectives.
- Evolution is real.
- People with special needs deserve kindness, too.
- Christianity is not the only religion in the world.
- Some people choose not to believe in any religion at all.
- Women have made a positive impact on this planet, as have people of color.
- Science is real, and it evolves over time as we continue to explore new paths of inquiry.
- Getting to know people who do not look like you is a very good thing.
- We live amongst people who have different sexual orientations and/or gender identifications than we do, and that fact should not be considered a threat.
- Diversity is beautiful and provides the broader perspective that we need to effectively solve problems.
It becomes increasingly evident that if we want children to have a well-rounded education, we will have to take matters into our own hands. For many years I struggled to find a way to assist in this effort. Then I realized that I may not be able to change the world, but I can certainly make a difference in my little corner of it.
Since I genuinely believe that that access to books that might not be found in our increasingly-censored schools is imperative if we want our children to have a global perspective, I decided to start a little free library in front of my home. This library contains books for adults as well, and it has become increasingly popular over time.
The fascinating thing about this library is that the adult books often come back so that other people might enjoy them, but the children’s books almost never do. That’s perfectly fine. Kids love to read books over and over again.
Unfortunately, that means that it’s very difficult to keep enough children’s books in stock to meet the demand. People are kind enough to donate books occasionally, but they’re rarely as diverse as I would like them to be. For example, I have dozens of books about Christmas, but no books at all about Kwanzaa, Eid, Diwali, Hanukah, or Ramadan. I can’t afford to purchase all these books myself.
The other night I was thinking about this problem, and finally accepting the fact that putting out pleas on the Facebook pages for my community was yielding nothing, and I began to daydream about the kind of books I’ll like to have for the library. A wish list of sorts.
Then I remembered that Amazon allows you to make wish lists. So I hopped over to their website and started making one. It’s a work in progress, and will definitely expand over time.
So, without further ado, check out my list entitled Children’s Books for Clark Lake Park Little Free Library.
Because this cause is so near and dear to my heart, I encourage you to use this list as a resource to obtain books for the children in your lives. If this list causes people to put even one diverse book in the hands of even one child, the world would be a much better place.
But make no mistake: I would also be thrilled if your generosity extended to my little free library. So, if you’re willing to purchase one of these books for the kids in my corner of the world, I would be almost as thrilled as the child who ultimately receives that book. The wish list contains my shipping information.
Thanks for your consideration. It takes a village!
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