My name is Havana Chapman-Edwards and I am 7 years old. I am raising money to buy books for other children who look like me! Reading is so important and I want to make sure everyone has the same opportunities to learn, grow, and change the world.
Scholastic did a study this year that shows black and brown children have 37 fewer books in their homes than white children. They also found that only 18% of African American 4th graders are proficient readers. I want to help change that.
My original goal was to help all 12 of my choir friends to feel confident in their reading ability and to see kids who look like them in the books they read. Every month, I am going to host a book club and read aloud a book about an amazing female black role model. Girls and boys need to see strong black females in their books. I call these women and girls “sheroes“.
Thanks to all of you, I was able to give each one of my choir friends 37 books! I even partnered with our local bookstore, Mahogany Books, a Black-owned business in Southeast Washington D.C. to purchase the books. Now all of my friends also have the ability to read at home like their classmates and can learn to read and travel the world through the pages of our books!
But I don’t want to stop here. I’m teaming up with my friend Taylor Richardson, aka Astronaut StarBright, to take books all the way to Ghana this summer. With the support of Oprah, Chris Pine, GMA, and hundreds of others, Taylor has sent over 1,000 girls all over the United States to see A Wrinkle in Time. Now she wants to help me bring books to girls all over the world too.
My godmother and one of my greatest STEM role models, LaSheena Washington, volunteers at a local orphanage clinic in Accra, Ghana where there are 17 young Ghanaian girls, ages 3-17. Taylor and I are working to raise money so we can hand deliver books and DVDs of A Wrinkle in Time movie to each of these beautiful girls.
These girls need books so that they can take pride in who they are and know that they are more than capable of being anything they put their minds to. We also want to show them that they too have #blackgirlmagic inside of them.
Here is where you come in! We need your help to raise enough money for us to buy books and bring them to the girls in Ghana. I think being able to give them the books in person will be really special.
We need to raise $15,000 by July 1st, 2018 to pay for the books as well as flights for Taylor and I (and our Moms too), a hotel, the Visas and shots we need to travel to Ghana, and other miscellaneous travel expenses. Any extra money we raise will go towards giving books to children of needy families in the Jacksonville and Washington DC communities where we live.
Every donation makes a difference and by supporting this project, you are helping to make sure that black children have a fair chance at academic success. ALL kids should have equal opportunities in their education and by having books, you can help these children change the world, one bedtime story at a time!
If you are an author or work in a bookstore and want to donate your books instead of money, you can send the books directly to us!
Follow Havana on Twitter and Instagram as @thetinydiplomat. Email her parent Contact Bethany Edwards with Bethany@biracialbookworms.com.