My guest today is the Piercy Charitable Foundation, explaining the Buy Your Child a Book Project:
Buy Your Child a Book Project encourages authors, educators and publishers to develop literature and programs that increase the number of heroes of color in children’s books. Focusing on such topics as creating diversity in children’s literature, the shortage of age-appropriate books for children of color, the translation of brain research to the classroom and other educational innovations, the foundation seeks to encourage the creation of heroes of color in literature as well as for other social platforms, including the entertainment industry, schools, communities and businesses.
We believe that literacy and reading programs can solve many of society’s problems. With teen dropout rates in some parts of our country reaching almost 60%, our programs present students with age appropriate reading materials to encourage reading and to build resources that focus on inspirational role models for minority students, especially for children between 6–14 years of age.
Encouraging Literary Heroes of Color
Our annual Buy your Child a Book Conference took place at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers store in Santa Monica November 6, 2010. Featuring some of the most respected contributors in their fields, the program offered new information on current heroes of color literature for the classroom, presentations by established authors, the corporate support of Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and innovative approaches to storytelling by one of Hollywood’s most notable producers. Other upcoming conferences will be held in Atlanta and Washington D.C. This year’s conference was in conjunction with Barnes & Noble Booksellers, McKesson Enterprises, the Los Angeles Academy of Media and Technology, the Los Angeles Urban League, the Milken Family Literacy & Youth Training Center, SP Turner Group, and the Publishers Association of Los Angeles.
The conference keynote speaker was Charles F. Johnson, a veteran television and film producer with more than 30 years in Hollywood. He began his career with The Rockford Files, progressing into many successful TV series franchises including: Magnum,PI, Quantum Leap, JAG and NCIS. NCIS achieved status as the number one series on television in 2010 and continues to expand its reach in syndication while still being in current broadcast. It has also garnered a successful spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles, which Charles was important in developing as the most successful spinoff at CBS. Soon to be released is Charles’ latest feature endeavor, Red Tails, the story of the Tuskegee airmen, the first African-American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during World War II. Charles has joined with George Lucas in this project. They are co-producing and the film which will be in theatres this fall. Charles has taken an interest in the charter school community and has a deep concern for children’s education especially at-risk children in the inner city.
If you or your organization would like to organize a Buy Your Child a Book conference in your community, please contact us at:
Piercy Charitable Foundation
8306 Wilshire Blvd. #1213
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(866) 604-3852 • www.bycabfoundation.org