Little Box of Books has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help diversify school bookshelves, and is being supported by author, musician and presenter Rochelle Humes (pictured).
The children's book subscription company aims to raise £55,000 for the Change the Story campaign, which looks to give children at disadvantaged schools access to books that feature black and minority ethinic characters.
Humes' debut picture book was published by Studio Press last year, with a second to be released this August. She said: “I am a big advocate of driving representation of the BAME community through literature, which is one of the reasons why I started writing children’s books. The best way to stamp out racism is through awareness and by educating children at grassroots level. Stories are the window into the wider world, and the more that children are exposed to different people from different backgrounds, the more accepting they will be as they grow.”
The campaign will run for four weeks.
Lynsey Pollard, owner and founder of Little Box of Books, said it is "crucial" that every primary school should have a diverse collection of books that is accessible to all pupils.
She said: “We want our children to grow up to be anti-racist, to accept difference with understanding and respect. Whether that’s differences in skin colour, family set up, socio-economic background, disabilities. But this is at odds with the books we give them. We can’t keep giving children lessons on the importance of accepting and celebrating diversity, telling them everybody is different and everybody is normal, then sending them back to bookshelves which don’t back that message up.”