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Representation Matters

Last month I shared with you the importance of reading books with your children. Reading 15 minutes a day is the equivalence of reading about 20,000 books a year. Just think of the thousands of words your child will be exposed to!

In addition to improving language and literacy skills, reading also has the ability to connect readers to new people, places, cultures, and experiences. If you follow me on any of my social media platforms you already know that I have been promoting the importance of diversity in children's literature. As a therapist who enjoys using books in her sessions, I became acutely aware of the lack of representation in my own library. Many of the books I shared with clients featured animals and few featured children from diverse cultures or ethnicities. So I made an effort to close the gap. I put in some work and added some range to my library. I felt it was important that I purchase and display books with images that are as dynamic and diverse as the world in which we live. I also wanted to ensure that all of the children I work with can see themselves and their families reflected in the books that we share. Over the past few months I have seen an increased interest in my library and more importantly- in reading! Students and clients request to read! One student connected to "The Proudest Blue" because the woman on the cover wears a hijab just like his mother. Another connected to "My Papi Has a Motorcycle" because the father in the book speaks Spanish and builds houses just like her dad. It is a work in progress, but the benefits are worth it.

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