2021 Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grants Announced

For Immediate Release
Wed, 10/13/2021


Monica Chapman

Program Coordinator, Coretta Scott King Book Awards and ODLOS Round Tables




CHICAGO — Marion-Perry County Library (Alabama), Southwest Baltimore Charter School (Maryland), and The West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (Pennsylvania) have been selected to receive books as part of the 2021 Coretta Scott King Awards Book Donation Grant program. 

Awarded each year 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 demonstrating need and potential benefit from receiving the collection. All winners will receive copies of titles submitted to the 2021 Coretta Scott King Book Awards, including a full set of the year’s winner and honor books.

The Marion-Perry County Library has existed since 1932 in Marion, Perry County, Alabama. Born and raised in the Heiberger community, a small rural area of Perry County, Coretta Scott King grew up not able to enjoy the library due to the color of her skin. Years after marrying Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the board of the Marion-Perry County Library made the decision in 1965 to remedy this inequity and to open the doors of the library to all children of Perry County regardless of their race. Marion-Perry County was the first facility in all of Perry County to become fully integrated and to welcome all of their community to use the library.  Before she died, Mrs. King visited the library in Marion and told them of the heartache of not being able to check out books as a child, but also expressed of her delight when she heard of that the library was opening its doors to all.

Southwest Baltimore Charter School is located in the heart of the Pigtown neighborhood of Southwest Baltimore-- an evolving, multi-racial, and vibrant community that stands upon the bones of a tract of land once known as the Georgia Plantation. As one of the oldest neighborhoods in Baltimore City, this community daily reckons with the long arm of entrenched, systemic racism and class discrimination-- a generations-old throughline whose impact is felt both in the institutions that govern the community and in the day-to-day rhythms of families and individual lives.

The West Philadelphia Alliance for Children or WePAC's mission is to promote childhood literacy and stimulate an interest in reading by engaging volunteers in Philadelphia public elementary schools to re-open and staff libraries. Established in 2004 in response to the shuttering of school libraries amidst a devastating (and ongoing) school funding crisis in Philadelphia, WePAC served approximately 4,750 children primarily in grades K-4 between the ages of 5 and 10 in 18 public schools during the 2019-2020 school year prior to Philadelphia public schools being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of the 2021 Coretta Scott King Book Grant Standing Committee are: Chair Bina Williams, Bridgeport (Connecticut) Public Library; Rebecca Davis, Simmons University; Jennifer Gladkowski, Village Community School; LeRoy LaFleur, Harvard College Libraries; Lauren Kratz, Los Angeles Public Library; and Fatima Perkins, Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging.

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, Marketing, Publications, and Technology. To learn more about the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, visit their website: http://www.ala.org/rt/emiert/cskbookawards