Published May 4, 2020

We are so pleased to share that the Virginia Center for the Book is working with school districts and community organizations in Arlington, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Norfolk, Richmond, and Roanoke to provide more than 3,650 complimentary books for students who are receiving free meals while schools are closed in response to COVID-19. 

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As part of the Changing the Narrative initiative, funded by the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) initiative within the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the books for students in pre-K through high school, by authors and illustrators from diverse backgrounds, include: 

To further support Virginia communities in these uncertain economic times, the Virginia Center for the Book partnered with local booksellers in each region to provide the books. 

Books will be distributed to students in the coming weeks by staff and volunteers within Arlington Public Schools, Books on Bikes Charlottesville, Harrisonburg City Public Schools, Norfolk Public Schools, Richmond Public Schools, and Roanoke City Public Schools. 

The Changing the Narrative initiative at Virginia Humanities uses humanities-based tools of story and storytelling to help Virginians create bridges between the past, present, and future to advance racial healing in these six key locales. 

Launched in 2016 by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, TRHT is a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. It seeks to unearth and jettison the deeply held, and often unconscious, beliefs created by racism—the main one being the belief in a hierarchy of human value.

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