The Brown Girl and Brown Boy Literacy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to reducing childhood illiteracy rates (especially in marginalized communities). Our programs are designed to promote early reading and writing skills to children ages 4 to 12 years old and encourage a love of learning that will last a lifetime. Children become confident readers and writers when given the opportunity to succeed in school and in life during the impressionable years of development.
No one is born a reader. However, we all should be given an opportunity to learn to read. The power of reading is undeniable. It shapes our worldviews, enhances cognitive function, and facilitates the acquisition of vital life skills. Yet, for children growing up in poverty or marginalized communities, access to books, support, and encouragement can be scarce. As a result, many are robbed of the fundamental benefits that come with reading. Such a deficiency in literacy skills can negatively impact their overall academic and social growth and ultimately affect their ability to succeed in adulthood.
This is why the BGBB Lit Foundation offers programs and events that help kids get hooked on literacy early by teaching them how wonderful it is when you’re able to connect reading to activities – even if it may have been really hard at first. Our goal is to not only promote literacy but also promote strong character development through quality early to middle childhood education so kids will love learning throughout life.
Our programs are not just about increasing word recognition and contextual skills; they also promote self-esteem and self-assurance so every child becomes a confident reader, speaker, and writer; as well as learn life skills.
“Our character, what we accept, and what we believe start at the psychosocial age of development, so instead of only writing to advocate the need for change to adults, I wanted to inspire, encourage, and teach at a stage of development that would culturally enrich our Black and Brown children.” – Dr. Pamela Gurley, D.M.
Our Founder Was Inspired By Her Children’s Book Series
World-renowned Author and Founder, Dr. Pamela Gurley, D.M.
Growing up an avid reader, Dr. Pamela Gurley didn’t see many book covers or characters that looked like her or told stories that were reflective of her experiences. Recognizing the importance of having more diversity in children’s literature, she created the Brown Girl and Brown Boy series.
Passionate about writing books that give holistic representation to Black and Brown children, Dr. Pamela Gurley began writing books essential for their social, psychological, and emotional development. She also knew children who see themselves represented in the books they read help them to develop a positive self-image and a strong sense of identity. Dr. Gurley writes to encourage them to explore new interests and experiences – contributing to their development and learning to see the world from different perspectives. The beauty of children’s literature is that it has the power to transport young readers to new and exciting worlds. By exploring other cultures and lifestyles, children can develop a greater understanding and appreciation for diversity.
Dr. Gurley loves to write books that spark imagination and creativity and books that teach them about the world around them. Most importantly, she wants to write books that show Black and Brown children that they are valuable, powerful, and worth fighting for. After publishing her books, she realized she wanted to do more than just write; she wanted to make a difference. And so, she embarked on a new journey: advocating for and holistically celebrating literacy. As a part of her advocacy, she curated a multi-city Book Tour and Literacy Fest in 2021 and has since hosted in cities such as Jackson, MS., Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL., and Houston, TX. In 2022, after two years of hosting the curated events, she wanted to expand her advocacy and founded the Brown Girl and Brown Boy Literacy Foundation.
Dr. Gurley’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is evident in all aspects of our organization.