Free & Low-cost Resources that bridge disparities in Socioeconomic & Racial Gaps in Reading & Education

Free & Low-cost Resources that bridge disparities in Socioeconomic & Racial Gaps in Reading & Education

We'd like to share a list of 15 Free & Low-cost resources in our local communities that help bridge disparities in socioeconomic & racial gaps in reading and education.

These resources were compiled by our Carolina Pediatric Therapy Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity team (The CarolinaPeds TIDE team). TIDE is a group of our clinical and administrative support team members committed to supporting & promoting our continued inclusion, diversity, & equity efforts for the benefit of the children, families, & communities we serve. We hope these resources are helpful! Please share them with others!

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school, no matter their family’s income.

Horizons at Carolina Day School is an award-winning academic enrichment program committed to expanding opportunities for under-served children in Asheville, NC. Horizons operates year-round to offer quality academic programs and provide other necessary support to children facing inequality in Asheville, NC.

Colorful Pages is a non-profit organization that aims to ensure colorful pages for students by supporting educators, families, and librarians in using multicultural literature and diverse books featuring characters of color. Colorful pages provides resources via a website that includes book lists, lesson plans, book reviews, author interviews, and information about incorporating diverse books into their setting.

My Daddy Taught Me That is a non-profit agency providing mentoring programs for middle and high school youth in the Greater Asheville, North Carolina area. The program forms partnerships with local schools, low-income housing developments, the juvenile court system, churches (and other faith groups), and social service agencies and many more to foster a commitment to adolescent male youths that promote pro-social friendships, strong interpersonal skills, good decision-making, acceptance of responsibility, and accountability for their actions.

My Sistah Taught Me That (MSTMT) is a young girl's developmental program designed to encourage, inspire, educate, and empower young girls ages 11-19 with a special focus on girls growing up in single parent homes without their father.  This program was created so young ladies in Buncombe County and surrounding areas in Western North Carolina may have the chance to be exposed to professional leaders in our community who are dedicated to providing opportunities, open dialogue, and exposure to things they wouldn't routinely do, with the intent of helping them grow and mature.

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. Working with Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools and a network of more than 50 local service providers, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County organizes resources that will support the health, education and financial stability of the whole family and neighboring community. By using  local middle schools as a district-wide hub for services, we can find new ways to address the needs of the community.

United Way of Central Carolinas fights for the education, health and financial stability of every person in our community. With more than 85 years of experience, we are a strategic community leader, convener and advocate with in-depth knowledge of the communities we serve, the challenges that affect them and the organizations having the most impact.

Word on the Street/La Voz de les Jóvenes (WOTS/VDLJ) is an afterschool (and one Saturday per month) program, with a summer intensive, that centers the leadership and creativity of black and brown youth, ages 13-19. Through arts-based programming, participants (known as The Squad) develop healthy relationships with peers and mentors, while working to make a difference in their community using their voices, talents and imaginations. As members of The Squad, youth build a unique and bilingual space to become hopeful about their futures, experience racial healing and develop a radical imagination to build a better world.

Reach Out and Read.  All families should have the tools and information they need to make reading aloud a daily routine. Reach Out and Read helps integrate reading into pediatric practices, advise families about the importance of reading with their children, and share books that serve as a catalyst for healthy childhood development. It is a priority that program books reflect the widest possible representation of the children and families we serve, with stories that are relevant and engaging, accurately reflect and affirm a diverse range of identities, cultures, and histories, and contain illustrations that are colorful and recognizable to young children.

Youth Transformed for Life (YTL). YTL Training Programs supports disenfranchised communities as they strive to succeed in an inequitable system. As educators, mentors, advocates, and neighbors we create bridges for children and families to overcome the current gaps of disparity. As guardians of the rights of children and their families, YTL is committed to making sure that all community members be informed of those rights. By meeting community members where they are, physically and emotionally, YTL works to earn trust and offer tools they can choose to employ as they work towards prosperity. YTL's ultimate goal is to cultivate a contagious community of compassion in which all human beings are guaranteed access to proper education, health services, safety, and economic stability.

Raising A Reader is a national non-profit organization partners with NBCDI and its Affiliate communities to implement an evidence-based, early literacy and family engagement program. Raising A Reader's partnership with NBCDI (Black Child Development Institute) serves more than 100 pre-k children and their families to foster healthy brain development and early literacy skills critical for children's school success. By working with Raising A Reader, BCDI-DC Metro aims to improve literacy levels within the DC Metropolitan area by engaging Black families and helping them develop an at-home literacy routine with proven results that link to academic and life success. BCDI Raising a Reader has affiliates in our Charlotte, NC communities.

OurBRIDGE for Kids is a non-profit organization that supports the immigrant and refugee community in Charlotte, NC by providing an out of school program and through community-based initiatives.

Talented Girls in Action (TGIA). TGIA empowers girls to be agents of change by providing academic support and career readiness development in underprivileged communities. Our main initiative is to encourage and empower girls to come into confident possession of their own unique talents and abilities by reprogramming their self-defeating mindset into one of accomplishment and achievement.

My Brother’s Keeper, Charlotte-Mecklenburg is committed to improving outcomes for boys and young men of color by serving as the backbone organization of a collective impact effort.

Time Out Youth Center is a place where youth can experience a sense of belonging and community. Whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, a straight ally- or just don’t want to be labeled- youth will be welcomed. Some youth are out, some are partially out, and some are not out at all. Time Out Youth Center offers a safe space for all and fully respects the journey of each individual. While at Time Out Youth, youth are not expected to be anyone or anything except who they are.

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