More than 350 children’s books, all centering around LGTBQ characters and topics, have been donated to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation. Rosedale Health in Huntersville and Stonewall Sports Charlotte pooled their resources to celebrate Pride month with literature and youth outreach.
This idea emerged when players from Stonewall Sports Charlotte decided to sprinkle the Queen City’s public libraries with stories of acceptance and inclusivity. Rosedale Health + Wellness, a gay-owned HIV patient care center, then matched all of these donated books by providing an extra copy of each. Childcare professionals selected, evaluated and approved each piece for their appropriate age groups.
Although the library is a safe haven for many children, transportation to and from the building is not always possible. So, as with years past, the Charlotte Mecklenburg library will be re-launching their Mobile Library once more. The importance of reaching secluded, underrepresented communities emphasizes the need for new books. More so than anyone, these youths deserve to see themselves embodied in writing.
Executive Director of the Mecklenburg Library Foundation, Jenni Gaisbauer, says, “These titles reflect and celebrate the diverse world we share, and will help more young readers see themselves, their families and their neighbors in the books they read.” Some of these children’s books are “Amazing Grace” by Mary Hoffman, “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell and “The Family Book” by Todd Parr,
“This donation shows [another] way our players give back to the community,” says Roger Howard, Stonewall Sports Commissioner. “We want everyone to feel safe and welcome in their home, school and community. We hope these books will support LGBTQ children and their allies.”
As with the Stonewall Sports’ philosophy, there is no LGBTQ-requirement. Baseball, racquetball and tennis players do not need to be LGBTQ-identified to play on a Stonewall team. Children who check out these new books do not have to be anything but respectful. The goal of this rainbow collection is to educate, include and celebrate all young readers throughout North Carolina.
To learn more about Rosedale Health, go to myrosedalehealth.com. To learn more about Stonewall Sports Charlotte, go to stonewallcharlotte.org.
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