Reading Challenge

The Black Stories

The Black Stories Reading Challenge is open to all children of color 12 years old and younger. Children will be selected on a rolling, first come first serve basis as funds become available. Please submit one application per child. If you apply and there are no funds available, you’ll be added to a waitlist and notified once additional slots are available. When children are selected and notified, they will have 1 month to select an age appropriate book featuring a Black main character or written by a Black author and write a book report based on prompts that I provide. Once the book report is completed and submitted, they will be awarded $50! The goal of this reading challenge is 3-fold:

  • To get children to diversify their bookshelves

  • To encourage children to read for fun & for retention/comprehension

  • To support and uplift Black stories and authors

I encourage all who enter this challenge to purchase your book from a Black owned bookstore, like Semicolon Bookstore or Good Books ATL. One of the goals of this challenge is to support Black authors and stories, and that includes our community bookstores! If you aren’t familiar with any bookstores in your area, there are plenty that you can order from online. Please take a look at my International Database of Black Owned Bookstores to find a local or online shop you can support.

If you are unable to purchase a book for this challenge, I encourage you to utilize your local libraries, many of which are offering curb-side pickup. If this is not an option in your area, Black Feminist Book Collective has generously offered to provide books to applicants in need at no cost to you. Additionally, The Collective Oakland has offered to provide a discount code to applicants in need for this challenge specifically. Please indicate in your application if you would like to exercise one of these options. (Please keep in mind that discount codes and free books may be limited, and are therefore only for children in need. Please keep this in mind when indicating need on your application.)

If you are a Black owned bookstore, library, or other organization providing Black literature to children in need, please feel free to reach out to me to discuss collaborations on this effort!

Thank you all for your support and feedback so far! I am looking forward to expanding on this reading challenge so that it is ongoing with funding available to all who apply. Please continue to share this campaign with your friends, family, and networks!

Program Partners:

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