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New Editions Show Students from Different Cultures

photo of books

The Foundation funds dozens of grants that provide new technology and innovative opportunities for our students. In addition to all that leading-edge material, though, schools continue to need books. It’s not an exaggeration to say that nearly every year, the Foundation–thanks to our donors–provides thousands of books for our schools. 

This year is no different. One grant written last fall by the three elementary principals–Dr. Caroline Cannon, Stephanie Thelen, and Carly Allen–called the “We Are All Unique” grant, is an effort to make sure elementary students see themselves in the picture books in their classrooms. 

“Our classroom libraries have been supported over the years through the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation,” the principals wrote in their application, “and we have appreciated the mentor texts for our students and staff. We are now asking for additional funds to address the need for more picture books that embrace diversity; specifically, students from different countries (English Language Learners) and students with differing abilities.”

Dr. Cannon says the benefit of having these books available to students is important and long lasting. “It is very important that our students see themselves in the literature offered in our classrooms,” she says. “The ‘We Are All Unique’ picture books help our teachers grow their classroom libraries with picture books that embrace diversity; specifically students from different countries and students with differing abilities. These books will help students better understand and respect the many similarities and differences we have as a community.”