Black Affinity Groups and Little Raptors Come Together to Celebrate Diversity

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On February 21, 2018 students from Brotherhood and Sisterhood read children’s books to the Little Raptors in the library for Black History Month. In a fun atmosphere, three students created an interactive environment for the kids. The usually quiet library was filled with laughter and excitement from kids of all backgrounds .

“I think it’s important because you get to see what you can  potentially be like in the future” said Caleb Sewell, a senior who was one of the readers.

What made this event unique wasn’t only different age groups connecting with one another, it was the significance behind it. The stories read featured black characters and were written by black authors, bringing to the forefront lesser known writers and celebrating black culture.

“We are essentially bringing to the forefront under-represented books, and that’s something that’s priority for us in general,” said librarian Kristin McKeown.

The three books read ranged from So Much, a story about a black family coming to meet a new baby, to appreciating your natural hair in Happy to be Nappy. These seemingly simple books gave kids the chance to see a new narrative and viewpoint in the hopes of establishing inclusivity and diversity from a young age. The idea stemmed from librarian Hollie Hawkins who noticed the majority of characters in books read to her two year old son were relatively non diverse.

“I was thinking about Black History Month and I wanted him to be exposed to books that featured characters that look different from him, and so I just sort of, got stuck in my mind and I thought that’s something we can also do it here, since we have the Little Raptors here at Eaglecrest,” Hawkins said.

The three students given this opportunity recognized the importance of reading diverse stories to the next generation. Reading multicultural stories to the Little Raptors gives them a chance to see the power behind minority writing, even though they may not see the importance now. Jerome Frimpong, another one of the readers that attended the event said, “The little Raptors and little, young generations need someone to be able to look up and see as exemplary people and how they should turn out to be.”

A personal favorite of the Little Raptors was So Much. The humorous storytelling of Sewell and interactive questions gave the kids a great chance to have fun and have an eventful morning.

McKelown and Hawkins were proud of their accomplishments because of how important this may be to the next generation and especially for honoring Black History Month.

Hopefully while the kids may not have understood the importance of the stories today, it can plant a seed of acceptance and understanding for years to come.

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