OEA distributes thousands of free diverse books

[June 3, 2024] Northeast Ohio students are starting their summer breaks with new books featuring diverse characters, written by diverse authors, in their hands. Families from across the region came together Saturday at the Chambers Community Empowerment Center in East Cleveland for the Ohio Education Association’s Summer Celebration of Diverse Readers book giveaway event.

The Ohio Education Association, East Cleveland Education Association, OEA-Retired and many community partners joined forces for this event, which was held as part of the Read Across America year-round Celebrate a Nation of Diverse Readers initiative. OEA was also pleased to donate diverse books to the East Cleveland City Schools’ book vending machine program through this partnership.

“All students deserve to see themselves reflected and respected in the books they read and what they learn in their classrooms,” said OEA President Scott DiMauro. “When our children have access to diverse literature and can read stories about people of all races, backgrounds, genders, and abilities, they can begin a journey of self-discovery and see the world in new ways. The Ohio Education Association is dedicated to creating safe, welcoming environments where our students can thrive and enjoy a lifelong love of learning.”

In addition to allowing families to pick out age-appropriate diverse books with their children, the Summer Celebration of Diverse Readers also featured free food, free entertainment from the popular Shaw Band, and free family activities, including facepainting, arts and crafts, a photobooth, and a Reader’s Corner, where local authors and community leaders shared diverse books out loud.

“As educators, we have dedicated our lives and careers to giving our students what they need to succeed in life. It brought us incredible joy to see how our community came together to support our students, and to see our students’ faces as they enjoyed all of what this exciting event had to offer with their families and neighbors,” said East Cleveland Education Association President Lillian Tolbert.

“We know that diverse books allow our students to find their own voices and learn from the voices of others. We are so excited to have them entering these summer months with the tools they need to continue growing their minds, so they’re ready to learn with us when we see them again in the fall,” Tolbert added.


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