A classroom library is a place for all students to fall in love with reading. That’s why it’s important that every student is seen, heard, and represented in the books you hand-selected.

Creating a diverse and inclusive classroom library will encourage students to learn about different cultures and experiences while empowering them to embrace their own identity. These books will serve as windows and mirrors, and give children the opportunity to expand their view of the world. 

While it’s not always easy to regularly infuse your library with new books, teachers have built a ClassroomsCount™ campaign to raise funds for books that celebrate all their students. Start a ClassroomsCount™ campaign in minutes to begin raising funds to add to your library and spark meaningful conversations among your students. 

Here are some ways to create a diverse classroom library of books.

1. Take Stock of Your Current Library

Do an audit of the books in your library, and write down any themes or topics that you would like to stock up on. Use ClassroomsCount™ campaign funds to fill gaps in your classroom library and ensure that there is a story for everyone. 

2. Celebrate Important Initiatives as a Starting Point

A great way to expose students to different backgrounds is by celebrating important awareness months, like Black History Month and Women's History Month. You can introduce books around these historical and cultural themes to your classroom with read-alouds.

For instance, highlight Black joy and excellence with books like I Am Ruby Bridges and Miles Morales: Stranger Tides. To reflect on the tremendous contributions women have made throughout history, read Hidden Figures — an inspiring story about how three Black women mathematicians helped NASA win the space race! This will not only help students learn about the significant roles women played in pivotal moments in history but also support student interest in STEM

3. Honor Moments in History Across Race and Culture 

Share important moments in history and teach about the rich ancestry of Native Americans with book collections like Native American Voices Grades 3-5. Authentic stories will give students a glimpse of the culture, traditions, and history Native Americans hold.

To share captivating Latinx stories, try Join the Club, Maggie Diaz — a middle-grade read that captures the experience of middle schoolers as they navigate friendships and identity. 

There is also a variety of books that honor Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage. For example, read aloud My Bindi — a powerful picture book about embracing unique qualities that make us different. There’s also Front Desk, a captivating story that follows Mia Tang, a Chinese-American girl who helps her parents run a motel. This story shares the immigrant experience and the power of community. 

4. Consider Bilingual Books

Adding bilingual books, like this collection of the 20 Best Bilingual Books Grades PreK-1, to your classroom library will help your students feel more confident with reading in different languages. English-language learners will be able to make stronger connections between their native language and English, which helps with understanding sentence structure and vocabulary.

5. Include Books That Celebrate Disability and Neurodiversity 

Books about disability and neurodiversity will help your classroom recognize and celebrate the differences in our abilities and the way we think about things. Written by Sofia Sanchez, a model and actress with Down syndrome, You Are Enough is an uplifting story about belonging that encourages the reader to play an active part in creating a more inclusive and kind environment. 

6. Add in New Genres

It’s important to have a collection of books that celebrate different cultures and backgrounds. Additionally, it is just as important to have books of many genres, from poetry to nonfiction. Every student's needs are different, and having a wide array of genres will help you ensure that there is a book for every reader. 

Although it can be challenging to maintain a classroom library with the newest books, a ClassroomsCount™ campaign is a fantastic tool to raise funds for new titles. It takes a few simple steps to get contributions for your campaign — such as sharing the campaign with your community — and the funds are immediately available to make purchases. Use this easy and effective resource to inspire students to keep reading and loving books! 

Shop children’s books about diversity and inclusion below! You can find all books and activities at The Teacher Store.

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