I’m currently working on updating our Busload of Books Tour website so it’s a more robust place that will help us tell the story of the trip.
For the record, Matthew and I are not literacy experts, we are not educators, we are not deeply informed on all things related to schools and literacy. We are just creators who have been fortunate enough to see the impact that our visits and books have on kids. In the process of putting together this trip, we’ve met so many people who have been fighting this fight for much longer and with such determination and fortitude, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to learn from them.
One of the more shocking factoids we have come across is that in low-income areas, the book to child ratio is 1:300. These are places where there are no accessible public libraries or bookstores and where schools do not have the funding to have in-school libraries.
We hear a lot from educators that books are “mirrors and windows and sliding glass doors.” How are kids to imagine themselves in different places, doing different things, if they don’t have access to those experiences themselves? Most kids from low-income areas do not have access to many different experiences. And the wonderfully simple answer to providing some version of that access is through books. And yet those same kids are barred access to books as well.
These were some of the things I was thinking about last night as I drew all these little circles in this illustration, thinking of the kids they are meant to represent. At once it seems like a problem that is impossible to solve yet one that has such a beautiful, simple solution. I am grateful to all the people we have met who are dedicating their lives to the solution.