Books for Classrooms began in 2017 when striking Arizona teachers told us that school funding in Arizona had been so reduced in the last decade that there were no longer books in many classrooms. Art, music, and libraries are woefully inadequate after ten years of severely reduced funding. Sadly, that lack of support for schools continues today.
A small group of retirees in Green Valley AZ came together, determined to provide tangible help to teachers by providing teacher selected books directly to classrooms with the support of administrators. For over a year, retired volunteer educators worked to discover and read high-quality, supplemental books to suggest to teachers.
Our focus was on recent small and large press offerings that encourage an understanding of diversity, peace, social justice and conflict resolution. Teachers asked that we include a category for environment. After reading many lists, blogs, searching websites and using our public library we have created a dynamic list of over 450 books in thirteen categories of diversity for grades K through 12, plus recommended books for teachers. These books have each been evaluated by a retired educator as being appropriate for students in southern AZ at the grade levels we recommend. We update the list regularly as new books about diversity come into print and others go out of print.
Equity and Inclusion
Intentional, insightful and profound service cannot be done without acknowledging, addressing, and countering the absence of inclusion and equity in our community. We will challenge our own beliefs and behaviors around cultural humility and biases in order to provide culturally responsive services to communities, individuals, and partners. We recognize that we are living on land originally owned by the Tohono O’odham Nation.
People are most successful in achieving their goals when all systems are working together. We strive to create environments in which people can both exchange ideas and create solutions. We believe in working as a partner with participants, colleagues, and the larger community to bring books to classrooms. This spirit extends to our governance processes by which the Board of Directors and volunteers work in partnership with each other and with community stakeholders to advance our mission. It also infuses the commitment to teamwork in our work environment.
We strive to maximize resources and use informal community supports to advance success. Our work focuses on partnering with community organizations to find and leverage resources to bring books to classrooms.
Books for Classrooms does not discriminate in employment practices, volunteer opportunities or delivery of programs and services based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, disability, ethnicity, marital status, familial status, gender identity, economic circumstances and/or veteran status.