The Eyeseeme Foundation
The Eyeseeme Foundation is the non-profit arm of the Eyeseeme African American Children's Bookstore. The Foundation's mission is to create programs that increase childhood literacy for under-served communities and to promote African American History and multicultural literature that will increase respect and tolerance for diverse cultures.
The Foundation provides books to low income families to ensure all children can realize the benefits of having a home library.
Increase diverse literature in schools
All children need to see themselves in the literature they read. Unfortunately, many of the schools and libraries do not have an adequate number of diverse books. When children only see other people in books we tell them that their culture is not important or not worthy of being in print. Year after year of this can be devastating on a child’s self-esteem and desire to engage in school, literacy abilities, and academic progress. As a result, many become turned off by the school that ignores their culture.
Research conducted by Ming-Te Wang from Pittsburgh University and James P. Huguley of Harvard University, highlighted in the Journal of Child Development, concluded how effective and helpful it is when African American children are taught about their history and culture, and involving them in activities that promote racial pride and connection. They noted that this helps to offset the discrimination and racial prejudices children face by the outside world. Moreover, these children are more likely to experience increased academic success.
Additionally, a study, conducted by lead author Antonya Gonzalez of the University of British Columbia, and other UBC researchers, found that telling stories of African-Americans “contributing positively to the community” was successful in reducing implicit racial bias in children aged 9 to 11. Institutional and systematic forms of racism continue to be a pressing social issue. This study suggests that if we want to start having a conversation about reducing implicit racial bias in adults, we need to intervene in the minds of children when prejudice first starts to take root.
Thus, The Foundation facilitates classes and workshops for schools, programs, and cultural celebrations to help teach all children about the valuable contributions of African Americans.
The Eyeseeme Foundation creates programs in conjunction with public/private schools, summer programs, community organizations and local area churches.
The Eyeseeme Summer Enrichment Camps - Black History, Elementary Writing, PK Reading Camp, Public Speaking and Financial Literacy Camp.
Book Angel Distribution
The EyeSeeMe Foundation’s Book Angel distribution to the Farragut Elementary School was a huge success! The children were so excited. We had a great time reading to the children and helping to promote literacy and a love of reading. We would like to thank Principal Patricia Cox, District Literacy Specialist Kelli Best-Oliver, Academic Instructor Coach Brenda Bethany, and the amazing faculty and staff at Farragut Elementary.
In partnership with the Meacham Park Neighborhood Improvement Association, The Eyeseeme Foundation created the Book Angel Program, in order to add culturally affirming African American books to the Kirkwood Elementary Schools, Kirkwood Early Child Center, and the Parents As Teachers programs. Furthermore, The EyeSeeMe Foundation matched 5% of total funds raised and donated to the MNIA Scholarship Fund.
Med Club After School Program at Nipher Middle school in Kirkwood, MO. The Eyeseeme Foundation partnered with the Saint Louis University Medical School and created a very successful after school program, which utilized African American medical students to introduce science and the field of medicine to African American middle school students. The children were very inspired.
The Eye seems Foundation teamed up with SPROG summer camp in an effort to provide stimulating workshops for the SPROG campers. SPROG Inc. is a non-profit corporation that provides recreational and educational activities for children entering kindergarten through eighth grade. The Eyeseeme Foundation facilitated workshops and brought in African American Role Models and community leaders in spoken word poetry, medicine/science, and African American history/culture.