2018 Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grants Announced

For Immediate Release
Fri, 04/27/2018


Jody Gray


Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services

American Library Association



CHICAGO — Art Aids Art and the eKhaya eKasi Art and Education Center in Khayelitsha, South Africa; the Athens Housing Authority, University of Georgia College of Education, and Parkview Community in Athens, GA; and the Uni Project in New York, NY have been selected to receive books as part of the 2018 Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grant program.

Awarded each spring by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee, the grant program donates books originally submitted for consideration for the Coretta Scott King Book Awards to organizations and schools in need. Three organizations are selected from a field of applicants that demonstrate need and potential benefit from receiving the collection. All winners will receive copies of titles submitted to the 2018 Coretta Scott King Book Awards, including a full set of the year’s winner and honor books.

Art Aids Art, a US nonprofit organization, founded eKhaya eKasi Art and Education Center in Khayelitsha, South Africa in 2008. The center provides a venue for children and their families to learn and create together, hosting community events and educational programs relating to literacy, the arts, life skills, critical thinking, reproductive health, and more. The books will be added to the circulating collection of the township’s Multicultural Children’s Library that was started with books received from a previous Coretta Scott King Book Awards grant. The new titles will be used to support continued instruction, independent reading, and a celebration of the organization’s 10th anniversary. To encourage bilingual development, the staff at eKhaya eKasi will also translate books into the local tongue, isiXhosa.

In Athens, GA, a partnership between the University of Georgia’s College of Education, the Athens Housing Authority, and Parkview Community has resulted in the development of a library that is available to all residents and the cultivation of resources that support individual, family, and community literacy development while helping leverage community knowledge, local historic memory, and counter-storytelling. The books received from the grant will be integral to Parkview Community literacy initiatives and programs, which will include tutoring, storytelling, dramatic play, guest speakers, author visits, and workshops relating to censorship and social activism.

The Uni Project is a nonprofit organization that creates learning environments in public spaces across New York City, including drawing studios, science and engineering environments, and reading rooms. The grant books will be added to a custom-made portable book cart that will travel into the city’s “book deserts.” There will be benches for all members of the public to use as they explore the collection, and the sides of the cart will include drawing materials and mini book reviews written by participating New Yorkers. The books will be shared with the community through discussions and read alouds, and author readings and additional events will be hosted to spotlight the new resources.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards encourage the artistic expression of the African American experience through literature and the graphic arts. Since 1969, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards annually recognize outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The Awards are presented by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Community of the American Library Association’s Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT). The Coretta Scott King Book Awards Community includes the Book Award Jury (which also awards the John Steptoe New Talent Award), the Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award Jury, and standing committees focusing on topics including Archives and History, Nominating, Programs, Public Relations/Marketing, Publications, and Technology.

Members of the 2018 Coretta Scott King Book Grant Standing Committee are: Chair Elisa Gall, Deerfield (Illinois) Public Library; Irene Briggs, Retired (MD); Dr. Regina Carter, University of Virginia Library; Shari Fesko, Southfield (MI) Public Library; Lauren Kratz, Los Angeles Public Library; Marguerite Parks, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh ; Laura Simeon, Kirkus Reviews; and Bina Williams, Bridgeport (CT) Public Library.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2019. To learn more about the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, please visit www.ala.org/csk.