INDIANAPOLIS – The Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association (MKNA) has launched an online bookstore featuring 50 diverse titles to gift books to area schools. All titles were hand-selected by librarians and media specialists at IPS CFI #84, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School, IPS CFI #70, St. Joan of Arc Catholic School and IPS #43 where the books will be donated.

Books can be purchased at http://www.mkna.org/bookstore

The online bookstore features 50 different titles for children of all reading levels and backgrounds. The goal is to sell 500 books so each of the five schools can have two copies of each title for their students. All books will be purchased through Indy Reads Books, a nonprofit bookstore located in downtown Indianapolis committed to supporting adult literacy programs through Indy Reads.

“This started out as a small ask from Cindy Wallander and Aly Schroeder, co-librarians from St. Joan of Arc,” said MKNA Executive Director Chelsea Marburger. “After chatting with them further, I learned more about their students and their desire to provide books that better represent their student body.”

According to the Association for Library Service to Children, around 8 percent of children’s books published in 2014 were representative of American Indian, Asian American, Latinx and African American communities. Following the conversation with St. Joan of Arc, Marburger reached out to other schools in the area that echoed a similar need for books of all levels that serve as both a mirror and a window into different life experiences.

“We are looking for support from the community to give the gift of reading to five area schools. Our youth deserve to have books with heroes and characters that look like them as well as to learn about people and experiences that don’t look like them,” said Marburger. “Every book purchased goes directly into the hands of an eager reader to learn more about themselves and their peers.”

For more information, visit http://www.mkna.org/bookstore/.

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