Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) pupils make up 33.1% of the school population in England. Yet in 2018, only 7% of children’s books featured a BME character, and only 4% had a BME protagonist. As things stand, our bookshelves do not reflect our reality, and this needs to change. This is where Beards & Books comes in.
We are working to launch a book subscription service. The goal of our project is to increase the visibility and accessibility of literary and cultural works by BME authors in the local community, whilst also providing innovative educational resources. It is so important that children see their own experiences, and the experiences of others, reflected in books. As the statistics above show, for children in the UK today, most mainstream books do not provide this. Our box will make this happen, by providing a regular supply of books by BME authors, enabling BME children to see themselves in the books they read, and enabling others to embrace this experience too.
Our goal is to reach as many families, nurseries and schools as possible so as to give as many children as possible the opportunity to discover books with a diverse set of characters and stories in which they can recognise themselves. We aim to have a balance of traditional storytelling classics and multicultural books too. We aim to produce affordable resources at a high quality. The content of the boxes will be relatable and best to each individual child’s needs. With each season, the boxes will differ, including seasonal items like seed to plant and grow in Spring and festive items during the Christmas season. We hope to add snacks into the boxes, introducing children to snacks from across the world. The subscription service will be flexible to your needs and our dispatch service will only send out boxes when you need and request them.
The subscription service that will see a box of diverse children’s books delivered straight to your door each month, making it easy for you to diversify your bookshelf without the hassle or extra cost of having to source books yourself. The content of your box will vary depending on what band you choose, with 3 price ranges available. This way, we hope to make our box accessible for all. Each box will include books hand-picked to promote understanding and enjoyment of different experiences and cultures, along with some extra treats!