USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


Access to Multicultural Children’s Literature During COVID-19

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Susan V. Bennett

AnnMarie Alberton Gunn

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Amid the COVID‐19 pandemic, students, families, and educators have faced unprecedented challenges. These challenges have disproportionately impacted racially/ethnically diverse, low‐income communities because of long‐standing health system, socioeconomic, and educational inequities. With closures of schools, libraries, and childcare centers, many students were disconnected from their community and did not have access to books. Parents’ and educators’ concerns centered around students falling behind academically and socially. In this article, we explain the motivation and rationale for a social justice initiative to provide students of color from low‐poverty areas with access to high‐quality multicultural children’s literature at home. We describe our literacy partnership with a local after‐school program serving participant students and families, research underpinning the initiative, and our process for selecting high‐quality multicultural literature book sets and offer suggestions about how to facilitate comprehension and motivational support for home‐based reading. We also offer a list of recommended literature and discuss outcomes and implications of this project.


International Literacy Association