#BeeisforBooks – instilling right (pint)-sized philanthropy in children
The What: Join Bee in his SECOND philanthropic event! So what if he as been on this planet approximately the same number of days that there are hairpin turns in the road to Hana? Bee is for Books is about ensuring that all children have books of their own and removing a barrier to the critical adult child interaction of reading aloud and together.
The Why: Right now, there is so much going on in the world, in particular regarding stereotypes: race, religion, gender, income. No better way to fight the negative energy of ignorance and hate than with education, awareness and language of acceptance and kindness. For children, this can happen in a lot of different ways depending on where you live, your family and experiences. But one activity makes things far away near, or foreign friendly or frustrating reassuring; Reading, specificially reading books about diverse characters or themes. Maybe they look like you, maybe they don’t, maybe their family is different than yours or celebrate different holidays or have different toys or play in a different manner. It is this curiosity and interaction that leads to conversations and opportunities to grow together with your child, influence identity and values, foster moxie and credence and develop tolerance, acceptance and understanding.
The Ask: Share the titles of your favorite books featuring diverse characters so that we can create a massive list of resources. Then make a donation! For every $25 you donate up to $100, Beckett will match your donation! Curated list will live here.
The Who: Children of patients and clients at the Bailey Boushay House in Seattle. We provide the donation straight to the children. This summer there are almost 40 children ranging in age from baby to teenager who will benefit from your support!
The More Why: Philanthropy, community support, empathy, awareness, loving kindness and just being a good human being are only a few of the many many attributes we want to cultivate in our young family, now more than ever. Research shows [link to prove it!] that involving your children in charitable activities is key to lifelong community support, much more so that just watching their parents donate money. I use community loosely in that there are some many different ‘communities’ we are a part of: neighborhood, cultural, hobby, professional, political, demographic, social, special interest… on and on. But even without a robust study to test hypothesis, we have known from before our little Bee was part of our life that philanthropy was an important part of our family.
Guess what? We aren’t uber rich major donors, nor logging in 20 hours a week at a soup kitchen – but we are involved in charity and causes that resonate with us, giving of time, goods and financial support. Sure we could do more but we could do less and there is no perfect level, it is what is meaningful for you at that time, for that particular cause. Including our toddler is the next step for us and fits right in with wanting to build our family more around experiences and less around things, but also teaching important life lessons. I don’t have all the answers right now (or likely ever) for the hard WHY questions Bee will ask as he grows up (why do some children in the world not get to go to school/does that man sleep in the van on our the street/would someone give up their pet/do some kids get a special meal at school/why ….) BUT I know that sharing and learning and discovering together overtime will ease this.
The Still Skeptical but Persistent Reader Part:
- NY Times Article : Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own
- AAP Policy Statement: Parents who read to their children nurture more than literary skills
- Cooperative Book Center, which annually tracks race/culture specific trends
- NPR Story on the small percent of non-diverse books despite half of children under five today are non-white. Does not EVEN capture the other aspects of diversity.
The Fine Print
- The ‘campaign’ runs through August 11
- Total campaign matching donation will be up to $500 (he is just a toddler after all)
- Donations (97 cents of every dollar) will be used to purchase new books featuring diverse stories for Seattle children who do not have access to new books to call their own.
- It is just our family trying out this tactic, not a uber non-profit, but if you want to join us and make this even more big and more official, let us know in the comments!
- One article explaining a view of tolerance versus acceptance versus understanding, in case you are curious. I still have so much to learn.
Thank you for joining us in Bee is for Books. M
Past event raised approx. $800 for books for BBH children and families!