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Children’s Reading Connection Collaborates on ‘ABCs of Black History’ Initiative

The children's book, "The ABCs of Black History" is displayed next to a microphone on a table covered in a red tablecloth.

Children’s Reading Connection Collaborates on ‘ABCs of Black History’ Initiative

Last month, Children’s Reading Connection, a nonprofit member of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, joined forces with Black Students United at Cornell University and other community leaders to launch a new national initiative, “The ABCs of Black History: Lift Up and Learn,” designed to promote children’s literacy and teach children and the greater community about Black history. 

The goal of the initiative is to gift the New York Times bestselling children’s book “The ABCs of Black History” by Rio Cortez to children in the Ithaca community and beyond. The initiative is putting the book in the hands of more than 1,000 children from the Beverly J. Martin School, the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC), the Downtown Ithaca Children’s Center (DICC) and the Southside Community Center’s Community Unity Music and Education Program (CUMEP). Classrooms in the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) will also be receiving copies of the book.  

TEXT: Join Cornell Student to give the gift of Black history to children. When children know their history it changes the place they see for themselves in the world. This book x 1000 children = priceless impact. IMAGE: Cornell students, JT Baker and Aminah Taariq-Sidibe pose with The ABCs of Black History book.
Children’s Reading Connection and Cornell University students have teamed up to put “The ABCs of Black History” in the hands of children in Ithaca, New York and beyond.

The initiative was announced on May 21, 2021 outside the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) with a public reading of the book, which highlights important figures and pivotal ideas and moments in Black history.  

“Thanks to Cornell student trustee, JT Baker ’21 and his leadership supporting the initiative, 1,000 children in Ithaca, New York and JT’s home city of Minneapolis, Minnesota will be part of the first iteration of “The ABCs of Black History: Lift Up and Learn” initiative,” said Brigid Hubberman, CEO and President of Children’s Reading Connection. 

This initiative isn’t just limited to the Ithaca community. Children’s Reading Connection plans on replicating this initiative on a national scale. Individuals who wish to make a donation to support “The ABCs of Black History: Lift Up and Learn” initiative and expand its reach are encouraged to donate here.   

“Sometimes children’s picture books are so powerful that they can change the way we see the world, even for adults,” said Hubberman. “Beautiful and powerful, ‘The ABCs of Black History’ opens minds and touches hearts with compelling information and inspiration in many lasting ways.” 

Read more about the initiative in a the Ithaca Voice or visit Children’s Reading Connection’s website to learn more.