Nationwide- Racial diversity in children’s literature teaches children a sense of acceptance and understanding. While the diversity of children’s books authors grew by 3% last year, there was only 1% growth in racially diverse characters. With its newly obtained 501(c)3, Read With Carylee is empowered to do more, decrease the diversity gap in children’s literature, and diversify children’s bookshelves!
Read With Carylee, created in 2019 by children's author Carylee Carrington, is a literary children’s program for children ages 2-9. This program prides itself on empowering diversity in children's literature by featuring mostly self-published/indie authors. This groundbreaking show has been a grassroots show, helping authors widen their audience and helping children and their parents expand their bookshelves. Read With Carylee takes a nod from Reading Rainbow but in a unique way. It creates a connection between children's authors and their readers that builds excitement for children and helps to promote their growing love of reading.
While the organization was not always purposed to be a non-profit, Carrington realized that the work that she does with Read With Carylee has morphed into something more. “This is an amazing accomplishment. Building this nonprofit encompasses my past in representing my mother's legacy, the work that I do now, and building a future for my children and other children as well,” Carrington says. “As I tell my children, reading is the bedrock of any learning, I am glad to be able to be a part of the growth and challenging change in children's literature.”
With its nonprofit status, the organization plans to better assist children’s authors with book promotions, produce and host events, and assist authors with book publishing at a low cost. Donations made to the organization will go towards diversifying children’s bookshelves and the donations are tax-deductible for donors.
The visionary says, “As an independent author myself, I know the difficulties of trying to get your book into the hands of the readers. I began this journey seeking to find diverse books for my children. It's hard to believe that in 2021 there still is a great divide when it comes to diversity in Children's Literature.” She continues, “I don't only want to help authors promote their books, I want to help all children feel worthy of seeing themselves pictured in books that are catered to them.”
Read With Carylee has been proud to showcase authors from all across the United States and now four continents. She invites children’s authors from all around the world to read their books to her YouTube audience. The show has been able to feature various special guests on-air, such as Dr. Artika Tyner, Derek Kent, Sheri Fink, Lyn Sission-Talbert, and Markette Sheppard, to name a few. Carylee plans to continue to add to the incredible guest roster in the future.
To learn more about the organization visit www.readwithcarylee.com.