The 14th Annual Shorty Award winners are here! View the full list.

THE 14TH ANNUAL SHORTY AWARDS

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Representing All Readers

Bronze Distinction in Graphic Art

Objective

It’s never too early to start fostering a child’s understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to the global and cultural landscape. An added benefit? By teaching children to appreciate differences in ethnicities, races, religions, and gender identities, we’re simultaneously empowering them to celebrate what makes them unique—and special—in this rich and varied world. 

With most kids having access to books before they can speak or walk, instilling these values through reading is easy and fun—and core to everything we do at Scholastic Book Fairs. Every Fair we deliver—in fact, more than half of our assortment—includes titles that offer children positive, affirming portrayals of all sorts of families and perspectives: people of color, LGBT characters, individuals with physical, mental, and emotional exceptionalities, and other historically underrepresented groups. 

And the work we do is not only warranted, but wanted. According to Scholastic Inc.’s most recent Kids & Family Reading Report(™) (2019), about half of kids ages 9–17 and parents overall wish there were more books available that include diversity; a sentiment that increases to 76% of kids and 69% of parents who agree diversity in children’s books is important. 

To further this critical part of our mission, we initiated the “Representing All Readers” social series this year.

Strategy

The “Representing All Readers” semi-monthly social series was created to generate awareness and readership of the diverse selection of titles available at Scholastic Book Fairs. 

By commissioning exclusive visuals as well as insightful content from artists, illustrators, and designers who are culturally connected to each month’s theme, we’ve embraced an even greater host of opportunities that extend beyond the written word—introducing children and their families to exciting artwork, sharing videos of the process behind the pieces, and (via tagging) encouraging meaningful dialogue and cross-promotion on the artists’ own social channels. The end result is just as much a celebration of imagination, creativity, and collaboration as it is an honoring of diversity, inclusion, and heritage. 

The series kicked off with Black History Month (February 2021), featuring artist Arielle Wilkins, who created a look for our featured titles. We took it a step further in March, driving to an additional “Scholastic On Our Minds” blog post that highlighted the three female artist contributors, plus their inspiration and advice for kids who want to create. Other efforts include support of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May), Pride Month (June), Hispanic Latino Heritage Month (Sept/Oct), and Native American Heritage Month (November). 

Each month features: 

As internal and external excitement grows, we continue to build upon the momentum, with new content like artist Q&As and this spring, “Book Fair Memories,” since so many of our contributors are eager to share their own personal story about how the Scholastic Book Fairs impacted them.

Results

Between January 1 and December 31, 2021, the “Representing All Readers” social series comprised of 55 posts reaching 273.61K users—3.69K of whom engaged via reactions, comments, and shares. In fact, 379 total shares further amplified the posts, generating increased awareness of our effort, the contributing artists, and the power of celebrating diversity through arts and literature. 

While these metrics certainly tell their own success story, more meaningful for the Scholastic Book Fairs team is the enthusiasm, self-reflection, recommendations, and conversations that were sparked, as well as the role we were able to play in lifting the voices and shining a brighter spotlight on so many diverse creators. As a beloved brand with a significantly large following, we value the opportunity we have to make powerful connections for readers—even those that extend beyond the page! By introducing educators, families, and students to contributing artists (and their social media accounts), we not only expanded their cultural horizons, we helped the artists expand their own followings and extend their reach. 

Post comments from followers included: 

“I love Scholastic because they give everyone the right to choose what books they want to buy. They try to include books of all cultures.” 

“I have this one. It really speaks to some of my students.” 

“I loved teaching the Cardboard Kingdom.” 

“This is a must-read.” 

“We shared (Kamala Harris Rooted in Justice) with our 4th grade girls and they LOVED IT! They were able to connect with our Vice-President and see themselves in her.”

Media

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Scholastic Book Fairs

Links

Entry Credits