American Reading Company Contributes to Marley Dias's #1000blackgirlbooks Book Drive

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A donation from American Reading Company (ARC) helped Marley Dias, the 11-year-old literacy activist behind #1000blackgirlbooks, meet her goal. ARC's team of classroom library designers worked together to create a donation of 200 unique titles Marley didn't have from their database of 115,000 books.

The story of 11-year-old Marley Dias and her #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign has gone viral. Supported by the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, Marley set out to collect 1,000 books with Black girls as main characters and she far exceeded that goal. American Reading Company contributed to her efforts.

“When Marley’s story first broke, everyone I knew kept sending it to me saying, ‘Can’t American Reading Company help?’” recalls Gina Cline, EVP of Curriculum and Classroom Libraries. “And of course, the answer had to be YES.”

ARC’s classroom library design team got to work, connecting with Marley and her mother, evaluating which titles she’d already collected and which she’d added to her Amazon wish list, then assembling a set of new titles to contribute to the efforts. ARC’s database of books tagged by level, ethnicity and gender of main character, quality of text, age-appropriateness, and a whole host of other characteristics helped for a swift response.

“We started with ‘Let’s send Marley 100 great books.’ And then we wanted to give her every book on her wish list. And then there were too many great books... So we ended up sending her 200 unique titles.”

You can follow Marley’s campaign here -

To learn more about Marley’s upcoming campaigns, and events visit GrassROOTS Community Foundation’s website -

You can learn more about American Reading Company’s work on diverse books at

About American Reading Company

Built and run by education activists, American Reading Company is a trusted partner of 5,320 schools and 1,070 districts in 50 states. Our team helps strengthen district and school capacity at every level by placing literacy and agency at the heart of school transformation. As a result, all students read, write, discuss, think, investigate, and solve problems at ever-increasing levels of proficiency. Their academic performance is accelerated and their life prospects are fundamentally improved.

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Traci Dibble
since: 01/2010
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