Saturday, June 19, 2021

InclusioNado Organizes CUSD Diversity Book Drive

Following the social unrest of summer 2020, a group of Coronado community members formed the grassroots organization, InclusioNado. The mission of InclusioNado is to help the Coronado schools foster a diverse and inclusive culture. In support of this mission, InclusioNado is organizing a Diversity Book Drive to benefit all schools in the Coronado Unified School District. The Diversity Book Drive hopes to bring a greater selection of books with diverse perspectives to all the school libraries. 

InclusioNado lawn sign
An InclusioNado lawn sign.

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Requested books for the book drive were selected from the California Department of Education’s list of recommended literature for kindergarten through 12th grade. This list further identified books that offered diverse perspectives and received notable awards including the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and Newbery Award. Working with the school principals and librarians, these books were cross-referenced with the current school library catalogs to identify which books were not currently available in the school libraries. With this information, InclusioNado created an Amazon wish list for books for each of the Coronado schools: Coronado High School, Coronado Middle School, Village Elementary School, and Silver Strand Elementary School.

The selected books represent a wide variety of diverse perspectives through fiction, non fiction, biography, and poetry written between the 1970s and today. Several books address the African and African American experience including stories of slavery, civil rights, the race riots of the 1990s, and the current day. Additional books tell stories of different races, ethnicities, religions, and abilities from around the world.

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The book wish list for Coronado High School includes bestseller, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, a memoir of the author’s childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Also on the high school wish list is the Pulitzer-prize winning, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, about a family from the Dominican Republic, and All Involved: A Novel that covers the 1992 race riots in Los Angeles.

Books on the wish list for Coronado Middle School include National Book Award winner,The Thing About Luck, by Cynthia Kadohata which tells the story of a family of Japanese-American farmers. Another book, Zora and Me by Victoria Bond, is a fictionalized story of the young life of African-American author Zora Neale Hurston. Blackbird Fly shares the story of a Fillipino-American music-loving girl in eighth grade.

Village Elementary and Silver Strand Elementary wish lists include the picture book biography, You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax!?, about one of the only Jewish players in 1960s Major League Baseball. Young readers can also learn about the Navajo tribe in Sing Down the Moon by Scott O’Dell or Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, in the biography, Me, Frida.

Donations to the Diversity Book Drive will help enhance the diverse perspectives available at the Coronado school libraries for many generations of Coronado students. CUSD librarians are exploring ways to feature the newly donated books and encourage student readers to seek out these new book additions.

InclusioNado encourages Coronado community members to support the Diversity Book Drive by visiting: www.inclusionado.org/book-drive and selecting their school of choice.


 

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Chloe Berk
Chloe has called Coronado home since she could walk or talk and considers herself a true Islander. She is currently a student at Coronado High School and a writer for the Islander Times. After studying and writing articles, she enjoys volleyball, the beach, and her newly-adopted dogs from PAWS.
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