New Britain

‘Black Characters Matter': Students Collect Books Featuring Characters of Color

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Two siblings in New Britain are trying to make sure the books in city schools are representative of everyone.  

Mariah Cubano Yopp and younger brother Tyshawn Yopp have launched a project called “Black Characters Matter” to raise money to get books featuring African American and characters of color into school libraries.  It came when they realized there weren’t many representations of African American children like them in the books they usually read.  

They’ve started a fundraising effort, getting nearly $3,000 in donations after spending the last month going door to door and also sharing their stories at rallies in the city.  

They’re working with their mother Melody Cubano, a paraprofessional at Vance School and the founder of a group called Love You First that teaches young girls about self-esteem and empowerment. Vance kindergarten teacher Carrie Clark helped set up the online fundraiser.

The kids' goal is to buy at least 500 books, or 50 for each of New Britain’s 11 elementary schools. 

To purchase a book from their wishlist, visit:

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