Community Engagement

The Importance of Representation: How we Helped Donate Books with Black Characters to Local Schools

Dec 3, 2020 by IDEX Health & Science

We are proud to announce IDEX Foundation has donated $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of New Britain who is now partnering with a group called Love You First to donate books with Black characters to New Britain, Connecticut school libraries.

Love You First is a group dedicated to teaching young girls of color to love themselves and to feel empowered. This group first started when a young girl named Mariah Cubano made a comment to her mom that she never sees any books at her school with characters who look like her. Her mom took her to the children’s section of Barnes and Noble where she noticed books with Black characters to whom she could relate. From there, Mariah and her brother, Tyshawn, kicked off a fundraising campaign called Black Characters Matter with the help of their mom who is a para-educator and a kindergarten teacher at Mariah’s school. The fundraising goal is to buy at least 500 books, or 50 for each of New Britain’s 11 elementary schools.

Since they started this fundraiser, Mariah and Tyshawn have been interviewed by local news stations, published in newspapers, and have received a Special Congressional Recognition Award from Congresswoman Jahana Hayes for their leadership and commitment to improving their community. Learn more about the Cubano family’s impact on the New Britain community in this article by Hartford Courant.

Donate to Mariah and Tyshawn’s GoFundMe campaign.

Check out the books they are collecting in their Amazon Wish List.

*Images Courtesy of Melody Cubano*