The Eyeseeme Foundation is the non-profit arm of the Eyeseeme African American Children's Bookstore. The Foundation's mission is to promote literacy and a love for reading among African American households base on the latest research in children literacy.
Increase # Books In The Home
Research tells us that the number one predictor of academic success is the number of books a child has in their home. For example, University of Nevada-Reno sociologist Mariah Evans led a research team and conducted a 20-year study that found the presence of books in the home to be the top predictor of whether a child will do well on standardized tests and attain a high level of education. This was found to be especially true for children from disadvantaged families. Unfortunately, the children that need it the most can afford it the least.
Thus, The Foundation creates programs and workshops to help teach parents the importance of building a home library and creating a positive reading culture within their homes. Moreover, the Foundation helps provide books to low income families to ensure all children can realize the benefits of having a home library.
Positive Black Images
All children to see themselves in the literature they read. Unfortunately, many of the schools and libraries do not have 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.
Yet, fewer than 10% of the children’s books published in 2015 were about black people, according to a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin. We want to make sure that positive, culturally respectful, children's literature is abundantly available to schools and non profit partners regardless of socio-economic status.
African American History for All Children
Research conducted by Ming-Te Wang from Pittsburg 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 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 African American History classes, workshops, 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.
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 Eyeseeme 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.