Bookworm Gardens Brings Read in Color to Sheboygan

By Sarah Nelson

Earlier this month, Bookworm Gardens celebrated the launch of Read in Color in Sheboygan, Wisconsin with over 400 attendees joining the celebration and 250+ diverse books being distributed! Bookworm is a botanic garden inspired by children’s literature with the mission to inspire the love of books and nature in the young and young at heart.

Cate Tinker, Director of Education and Community Programming, explained that “the Gardens believe diverse books, like diverse ecosystems, lead to a better understanding of the world around us. We are thrilled to be planting ten book sharing boxes throughout the Sheboygan community filled with culturally relevant books to increase access to diverse literature!”

Cate Tinker, Director of Education and Community Programming at Bookworm Gardens, and Lexie Neeley, Program Manager for Read in Color at Little Free Library, share books in the Little Free Library
Bookworm Gardens staff, stakeholders, and friends cut the ribbon at the new Read in Color Little Free Library and invite children at the event to check out the books inside the book-sharing box

Kim Geiser, Executive Director of Hello Happiness Creativity Center, attended Bookworm’s Read in Color Launch Party as a community partner. Her organization is located next to a dual language elementary school; the Read in Color library is the perfect addition to this little corner of Sheboygan.

She went on to say, “making sure that everyone feels seen, heard and welcome in the community is a pillar of Hello Happiness and the Read in Color program is just one more way we can do that! The Launch Party was an amazing opportunity to meet and mingle with all of the extraordinary people of the organizations that are a part of this important collaboration. The support from the community was a fantastic representation of the diverse friends who we hope really feel the thoughtfulness and care that was put into picking out books that represent all of us.”

Author Charm Der shares her book My Happiness Counts in the Little Free Library
A group of children look through the books in the Little Free Library

“The Read in Color Little Free Library launch party at Bookworm Gardens was a vibrant celebration of diverse voices and stories,” said Charm Der, author of My Happiness Counts, who read at the event. “As a children’s book author, I’m thrilled and profoundly grateful for the chance to be part of a movement that declares diversity in children’s literature as not merely important, but essential to the books that shape the hearts and minds of our youngest readers.” 

The Read in Color initiative has launched in 15 U.S. cities to date, from New York and Washington, D.C. to Atlanta and Phoenix, with plans for even greater expansion this year. More than 150 Read in Color Little Free Libraries and 30,000+ diverse books celebrating Black, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous, LGBTQ+, and other important voices have been shared so far. Learn more and sign the Read in Color pledge!

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