The My Brother's Teacher (MBT) Project led by Dr. William White, with project managers Elane Jones and Clare Juico, received a $20,000 donation from Amazon to support their project "Diversify My Library." With Amazon’s gift, the MBT team will donate a diverse set of early childhood education book collections in both hardback and digital literacy technology using Kindles to early learning centers across Seattle, Washington. Teachers and centers chosen for this project will be required to attend professional development that includes courses such as Anti-Bias/Anti-Racist Teaching, Culturally Relevant Literature Practices and Incorporating Digital Literacy Technology in the Early Learning Setting.

As a special education teacher, Dr. White knows firsthand that students engage with culturally relevant early literacy. "The power of watching a young child of color read a book with characters that look like them is powerful as their eyes light up.” he says. The MBT team also knows the importance of incorporating literature that reflects students of color in the early childhood education settings where they are served and aims to reach as many children as they can.

Amazon's Regional Community Operations Manager, Jorge Carrillo and Sr. Manager of External Affairs, Taylor Hoang expressed their excitement about this partnership. "Amazon works hard to help strengthen the communities where our customers and employees live and work by building partnerships with community organizations that will have a lasting impact. To that end, we are thrilled to collaborate with the University of Washington and My Brother's Teacher to help support the BIPOC community and fight systemic racism through programs that focus on inclusion and empowerment from an early age."

MBT seeks to diversify the early learning workforce by recruiting male high school Black and Brown students from the Greater Seattle area to complete college coursework in early childhood education at North Seattle College and funded summer internships in Seattle’s early learning programs. With the University of Washington, North Seattle College, Seattle Preschool Program and Seattle Public Schools collectively working together, MBT has an immediate impact in early childhood education. MBT offers early childhood education training, mentoring and scholarships so that MBT Fellows will become certificated early learning teachers.

Thank you to Amazon for this incredible gift to help diversify libraries across the city and to My Brother’s Teacher for their devotion to early literacy and for reaching diverse communities with books that reflect them and their lived experiences.