Diversity Rocks the Book (DRB) is an outreach program of the City of Holland’s Human Relations Commission (HRC) that addresses the lack of diversity in children’s literature. Its goal is to empower all Holland children to see themselves and value others through books. We do this by putting diverse books in front of and into the hands of our students, to begin to create for them a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book and to educate parents and teachers on the importance of bringing diverse books into the home and classroom environment.

Since Diversity Rocks the Book first launched in 2018, we have distributed more than 600 picture books and middle grade novels to Holland schools, sent 45 guest readers from the community to make 60 classroom visits, and reached more than 1,500 students. The program has also provided training and resources for teachers and parents on the importance of diverse books in the classroom and home. Plans for the next stage of the program focus on building sustainability for the project while improving and expanding both outreach and services. For 2020-21, Diversity Rocks the Book will

  • Distribute newly selected titles for preschool, elementary and middle school students at Holland Public Schools, Black River Public School, Vanderbilt Charter Academy, and the Head Start and Great Start Readiness Programs in the city. Delivering the books in May will allow teachers to share in the classroom this school year and also give them time to review the books over the summer months to incorporate them into the SY 2020-21 curricula.
  • Develop and distribute a Diversity Rocks the Book Blueprint so that libraries and school districts outside of the City of Holland may develop their own DRB program.
  • Host a teacher training workshop (Summer, 2020) and present at teacher in-services SY 2020-21.
  • Recruit and train community Guest Readers to visit schools for SY 2020-21

You can learn more about the books selected, how to become a guest reader, and the training and resources provided here. Also, follow along on Facebook for more information and updates.