Two local moms are hoping to make Turlock elementary school children feel more represented by expanding the diversity of characters featured in their library books.
“With the recent social justice movement Black Lives Matter, as moms and just as citizens we really felt called to figure out what we could do. With our kids as first in mind, we thought let’s start with the schools and realized quickly the importance of having diverse books,” said Caitlin Volk.
Caitlin Volk reached out to her sister-in-law, Lizzie Volk, and the two launched the Book Drive for Diversity campaign. They created a book wish list through Amazon, with the titles cleared through the Turlock Unified School District as grade level appropriate.
Their original goal was to get 50 books donated by July for the Julien and Walnut elementary school libraries. But when other parents, teachers and school administrators heard of their campaign, they asked for the Volks to expand it to be district-wide.
“We blew past our first goal. We’re now hoping to get 600 books total. There’s a lot of need left but I think the community understands why this is so important,” said Lizzie Volk.
The Volks said this book drive was a way community members could make a meaningful gesture.
“It’s a way to give back to our community and it’s going to impact the kids we know in this town,” said Lizzie Volk.
The Volks dropped off the first group of diverse books to the Julien Elementary School library on Wednesday, which was much appreciated by Principal Jenny Henderson.
“It could not have come at a more opportune time. I agree that we need diverse books in our school libraries and for our children,” said Henderson.
“I as a principal have been looking at how I make sure that we are coming back educated as a staff to help support all of our students and this is a step in the right direction.”
Those wishing to contribute to the Book Drive for Diversity can find out more information and a link to the Amazon wish list on the campaign’s Instagram page @bookdrivefordiversity.