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Diversify your home library with Jambo Books

Jambo Books sends 2 or 3 age-appropriate children's books each month that feature children of color as the star of their own stories

$2,575
pledged of$20,000 goal
1
19Days Left
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Campaign Ends on November 12, 2020

Project Description

 

Jambo Book Club exists to broaden the perspectives and build the empathy of our readers and their families. We shine a spotlight on diverse children in their everyday and fantasy lives. We hope that our efforts will start conversations that underscore the beauty of our common humanity.

The stories parents and grandparents tell children matter. From their youngest years, kids learn who
and what adults value. Finding children's books with characters that more accurately represent the rich diversity of modern America is hard. In fact, a recent University of Wisconsin-Madison found that only 14% of children's books published in 2015 had a nonwhite main character. Today's America is diverse and growing more so by the day.

My husband and I started Jambo Books because we were searching for high-quality books starring children of color in situations where children’s literature rarely places them — making friends, raising pets, loving grandparents and fighting dragons. We focus on finding books that give our children a vision of the world we want them to live in — diverse, vibrant and kind. We’re excited to share those books with other children through Jambo Book Club. We are passionate about helping parents raise children who won't have to be taught to tolerate people who don't look like them because they will crave a diversity of perspectives and traditions as part of a rich life.

 

Jambo Books is a children's book subscription company.  We send our members 2 or 3 books each month that feature a child of color as the star of a fiction story.  Jambo Books serves children from birth to age 13. Our oldest members, ages 10-13, receive a middle grade novel and a nonfiction companion book that expands on a topic discussed in the novel.  We focus on stories about children of color to delight your young readers and reaffirm your values of creating an inclusive and welcoming community. The books arrive in boxes decorated in art that celebrates the joy of childhood.

Jambo” means “Hello” in Swahili. “Hello” is an invitation to start a connection, to learn something new, to expand our notion of what it is to be human. Similarly, we invite our readers to build their own empathy muscles by reading about people who aren’t exactly like themselves. Together, we affirm the humanity of every person.

We started experiencing explosive growth in May. Once the Black Lives Matter movement started to garner a lot of attention and support, our monthly subscriptions jumped from about 150 per month to over 600 currently – a 400% increase! It's important for us to leverage this moment as an opportunity to offer as many families as possible the chance to diversify their bookshelves and learn more about themselves, our country and their neighbors.

The Jambo Book Club offers a wonderful opportunity to show inclusive values from a child’s earliest reading experiences. With book titles like Lucia the Luchadora, A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars or How To Trick The Tooth Fairy, parents select one of five age categories for their carefully curated subscription --
ages 0-2, ages 3-4, ages 5-6, ages 7-9 and ages 10-13. Each captivating tale engages children, reinforcing a lifelong love of reading. Jambo understands many households have multiple ages under one roof so we offer the Mixed Ages Jambo Book Box which allows parents to choose two different age groups. One or two inclusive books per age group arrives at the home every month.

We have found that once people learn about Jambo Books they are really excited to subscribe, so our job is make sure people hear about Jambo Books so we can help them to diversify their home libraries. We will use funding for marketing as we prepare for the holiday season. We are creating pre-roll, short videos and a commercial to get the word out about Jambo Books. Longer term, we have a part-time social media manager who is incredibly talented. We would like to be able to bring her on full-time to engage longer term marketing efforts as well as social media outreach.

An important long-term project that requires funding is the launch of Jambo Book Club IRL. We have many members  who are clustered in neighborhoods where they may not know each other. We want to give our members an opportunity to meet up online or in real life (when it is safe). Those connections will help members to build relationships across racial lines with other people who are close by and are also dedicated to social justice. Their kids can meet each other and play or discuss the books and most importantly, the parents will be living out the meaning of Jambo by starting conversations and building bridges. We need funding to hire someone who will lead the Jambo Book Club IRL program, forming the Facebook groups, reaching out to members and preparing materials for the clubs to use when they meet.

It's clear to us as parents ourselves that adults are looking for ways to discuss our nation's complicated history and present with their children.  Jambo is in the process of creating an online course to help caregivers understand the systems that have given rise to the injustices we are currently experiencing  and offer concrete ways they can explain those systems to their children at different developmental ages. The goal of the course is to help adults to feel less helpless because having an understanding of the systems and the history of race in our country will help them to better place themselves and their families in the narrative.  Such knowledge will empower Jambo members to change the narrative in their lives and communities in lasting and impactful ways.

Jambo Books is led by Mijha Godfrey. Mijha is a former affordable housing developer and lawyer.  She was educated at Wellesley College and Yale Law School. Mijha believes that children of color should never feel like outsiders in their own country.  Mijha believes that white children are enriched by exposure to children of lots of different backgrounds acting as the stars of their own lives - not as sidekicks. Mijha believes that exposing children to people of different backgrounds when they are young will help them to see the humanity in all people when they are adults. Mijha believes that empathy is a muscle we can grow with use and that literature is a powerful way of exercising that muscle. Mijha believes that literature needs to be transformed from treating only the stories of white males as universal. Mijha believes that the child of Iranian immigrants and a Black girl with afro puffs can convey universal themes of humanity just as powerfully as any story ever told about a white male.

 

Thank you so much for your support!!

Updates

The Campaign FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What if I receive a book my kids already have?

A: Just let us know and we’ll send you a new one! Email us at help@jambobooks.com.

Q: When do you ship the boxes?

A: We ship by the 10th every month.  

Q: How do you choose the books? 

A: We comb the internet, bookstores and libraries to find great books for your children. We read every book before we send them to you. We are looking for entertaining stories take place in familiar surroundings. Fantasy, mystery, poetry, and the magic in everyday routines dominate the stories we send.

Q: Can I send a gift subscription?

A: Of course! A Jambo Books subscription makes a great gift for birthdays, baby showers, holidays and any occasion. Click on “Give A Gift” on the homepage to send a subscription as a gift.

Q: Can I send a gift subscription to a school, library or non-profit?

A: Absolutely. A Jambo Books subscription is an excellent gift for organizations that take care of children like schools, libraries, shelters and programs focused on literacy.

Q: Can I bring Jambo Books to my children’s school?

A: Sure. We have two options for assisting schools with Jambo Books. We can offer a catalog of diverse books to your school. For every 10 books that are ordered in a classroom, the teacher can choose a free book for the classroom or library.  We will also offer a free book for every subscription order of three months or more. 

Q: How can I find you on social media?

A:  InstagramFacebookTwitterPinterest 

Q: My boy only wants books about boys and my girl only wants books about girls. Can we request that?

A: Jambo Books tries to balance the books we send in terms of sex and ethnicity. We strongly encourage people to read books about characters who are not exactly like themselves. Boys can benefit from reading stories that star girls just as girls can benefit from reading stories about boys. We try to expose all of our readers to fantasy, mystery, and the magic of everyday life. 

Q: What ethnicities can I expect to see represented in my child’s books?

A: All of them! One of our values at Jambo is Inclusivity, so we want to represent all people of color in our books. You can expect to receive books about Black, Hispanic, East Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Native American children. 

If you receive a book you already have, contact us (info@jambobooks.com) and we will send you a replacement free of charge.

 

10/12/2020
Monetary Contribution
$2,575
Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

1 Supporter
Select this reward
20.00 USD
Jambo Book Club Sticker

6" x 4" oval sticker with the Jambo Book Club logo. Put it anywhere you would like to display your support for the mission of Jambo Books - to use children's books to build a community that is inclusive, vibrant and kind.

200 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
JambArt Posters - 11" x 17"

Get our first two pieces of JambArt, Rocket Ship and Twinkling Stars, designed by Beatrice Ajayi. Ajayi is an artist of West African origin living in Scotland. Her children were her inspiration for these pieces.

The posters are 11" x 17" and unframed. It would make a perfect poster for a child's room or an adult's!

20 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
250.00 USD
Fractured Art Glass Print - Rocket Ship

The Rocket Ship, one of our first pieces of JambArt, was designed by a West African artist living in Scotland, Beatrice Ajayi. Her children inspired this design.

You will receive this Fractured glass print handcrafted in Florida ready to hang. It's 10.8" x 14.4". Glass posters print the photo directly onto the glass for a beautiful radiant print. The poster comes with software for hanging. 

15 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

1 Supporter
Select this reward
20.00 USD
Jambo Book Club Sticker

6" x 4" oval sticker with the Jambo Book Club logo. Put it anywhere you would like to display your support for the mission of Jambo Books - to use children's books to build a community that is inclusive, vibrant and kind.

200 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
JambArt Posters - 11" x 17"

Get our first two pieces of JambArt, Rocket Ship and Twinkling Stars, designed by Beatrice Ajayi. Ajayi is an artist of West African origin living in Scotland. Her children were her inspiration for these pieces.

The posters are 11" x 17" and unframed. It would make a perfect poster for a child's room or an adult's!

20 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
250.00 USD
Fractured Art Glass Print - Rocket Ship

The Rocket Ship, one of our first pieces of JambArt, was designed by a West African artist living in Scotland, Beatrice Ajayi. Her children inspired this design.

You will receive this Fractured glass print handcrafted in Florida ready to hang. It's 10.8" x 14.4". Glass posters print the photo directly onto the glass for a beautiful radiant print. The poster comes with software for hanging. 

15 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward