Civic Leadership Book Kits for the Children of AppalachiaProject led by Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
About the project.
Books can open new worlds for readers of all ages, and we know this is all the more true for our youngest neighbors. Through the pages of books, the children of Appalachia discover new worlds, grow wiser by exploring history, and find new ways to see themselves in their communities, state, and planet.
In the Foundation’s partnership with First Book, a national nonprofit and social enterprise developed to connect educators serving children in under resourced communities with high-quality books and educational tools, we have partnered to reach more than 30,000 children across Appalachian Ohio so far. Previously, our partnership distributed 300 social-emotional learning book kits for first through third graders.
Now, we hope to reach educators with the tools they need to inspire elementary and middle school students to be engaged citizens. Through the distribution of civic leadership book kits, each containing five age-appropriate books focused on civic engagement and leadership, we will encourage our next generation of leaders and citizens to understand the role they play in making their communities a better place now and far into the future.
FAO staff comments.
Through our nearly two years of work with First Book, we have learned valuable lessons from the educators who have benefitted from the books and tools offered through First Book’s Marketplace. As we distributed our social-emotional learning book kits, we often heard from teachers who were excited to have books that they had long wished for available for free in their classrooms and buildings giving them a chance to engage with their students in a whole new way.
Through the Foundation’s I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund, we have always put an emphasis on the important role that our young people play in their communities today as well as what role they will play in the future. Being a community leader and an engaged citizen is a critical part of this role and in understanding how your choices can have a profound effect on the community around you. We know this five book kit will help more educators engage their students in the important discussions of what it means to lead and be a neighbor.