DECATUR – Harmel Deanne Codi continued her community advocacy as she newly announced the publication of her book series for children and a book drive. The initiative will continue to promote early literacy efforts for children of color, especially those in local community schools, by bringing them more joy and the excitements of reading and learning. All proceeds will go toward the acquisition of more books through the nonprofit organization Community Alliances and Improvements, where Ms. Codi is the Chair, Founder, and advocate by putting her “Community First.”
Codi said, “If there are areas of proportionate disparity for children of color, they are in education and particularly, early literacy.”
The recently launched book series is targeted at kids living in communities with a history of less-than-optimal literacy. This is in line with Ms. Codi’s goal of empowering Black and Brown children to be able to speak, read, and write at a similar level to their peers. The first 11 children’s storybooks introduce the series to the world, encouraging parents, family, and extended family members to read to children from a very early age. The series has also started to catch the attention of readers and parents across the world. Two of the relatable and delightful books (also in Spanish) are titled “Mommy Teach Me How to Count,” and “Daddy Teach Me How to Ride My Bike.”
“We are seeing the symptoms of educational neglect in our community and lead to an undesirable life of crime, incarceration, and even death. As a former juvenile court guardian ad litem and a volunteer juvenile representative, I have witnessed so many children ending up in the penal due to the lack of early preventive educational measures. Most incarcerated individuals are often illiterate or have less than an eighth-grade education. The disparity is blatantly apparent when most states spend between $2,800 and $6,900 per child yearly for education, yet $38,000 to $50,000 to hold young people in prisons. I have written these books to inspire learning. No one should wait for their kids to start school to learn how to read. Our children will be able to hold their own and one day be great candidates for college, graduate schools, and competitive careers. I want to elevate them to meet and exceed their potential,” she continued.
The book drive launched by Ms. Codi aims to collect 75000 books while urging communities to donate books to benefit regions 5, 6 & 7 of the DeKalb Schools at Exchange Recreation Center and Mason Mill Recreation Center.
For more information about the book series and other programs of Community Alliances And Improvements, please visit – www.communityalliances.net for more details about this organization.