The Little Free Library’s Read in Color Initiative

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Guest Article from Chelsey Christensen.

This summer, The Little Free Library® (LFL) launched their Read in Color initiative at CentroNía in Washington, DC in partnership with Everybody Wins DC (EWDC) and Van Metre Companies. Through this incredible initiative, 21 new Little Free Library book-sharing boxes will be established in high-impact areas in the DC-area and more than 4,600 diverse books will be distributed to help promote understanding, equity, and inclusion.

Little Free Library Read in Color InitiativeLFL’s national Read in Color initiative, which was introduced in Minneapolis last year in response to George Floyd’s murder.

Little Free Library’s Read in Color has 4 Key Components:

  1. Little Free Library installations full of culturally relevant books, placed in high-need communities.
  2. Free diverse books for applying LFL stewards, purchased from independent and BIPOC-owned bookstores when possible.
  3. Recommended reading lists representing Black, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, Muslim, LGBTQ+ and other communities.
  4. Read in Color pledge, allowing everyone to show their support for diverse books and access downloadable resources.

Van Metre Centro Nia DC’s first Read in Color Little Free Library was unveiled at CentroNía headquarters with a ribbon-cutting, story time, and free books for the PreK3 and PreK4 students in attendance. The library is filled with books that provide perspectives on racism and social justice; celebrate BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and other diverse voices; and incorporate experiences from all identities for all readers. 

Little Free Library Read in Color InitiativeThe Launch of LFL’s Read in Color at CentroNía

It was an absolute honor to attend – and participate in – the launch of The Little Free Library® (LFL)’s Read in Color initiative at CentroNía. Reading to my son’s class – an act that any other year would have been normal or mundane – was instead a joy-filled and emotional moment. Our family has made a concerted effort to diversify our bookshelves and we know firsthand that literature can serve as a powerful tool to promote understanding, empathy, equity, and inclusion. 

I have the privilege of serving as Parent Ambassador for the inaugural Read in Color Little Free Library at CentroNía and look forward to spreading the word about this community offering while ensuring that the library stays well stocked well after the generous initial book donation from Everybody Wins DC.

Little Free Library Read in Color InitiativeHow YOU Can Help the Read in Color

  1. Learn more and sign the Read in Color pledge by visiting LittleFreeLibrary.org/Read-In-Color
  2. Take a book/Leave a book from one of DC’s Read in Color Little Free Libraries. 
  3. Help spread the word!

Read more about the Washington, DC Launch here!

Little Free Library Read in Color Initiative

Our the guest author:

Chelsey Christensen is originally from Decorah, IA and has lived in Washington, DC for more than 12 years. She resides in Columbia Heights with her husband John, their 3-year-old son, and fur-baby. She works full time as Director of Development at Imagination Stage. Chelsey is a consecrated Deaconess through the Lutheran Diaconal Association and an active member of Luther Place Memorial Church in downtown DC. She is passionate about the arts, education, and equity. On weekends you can find her exploring neighborhood parks and playgrounds with coffee in-hand.

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