MACOMB, IL – When Western Illinois University English Professor Rebekah Buchanan started thinking about ways she could do something to get others involved in making a difference, she kept returning to education. Because of her background and love for books and reading, Buchanan has initiated a fundraising campaign to purchase books by authors of color for Macomb School District No. 185 schools.

“Education is key in creating understanding and empathy and one way we do that is through reading. Creating a way to get more books and resources to our teachers is a way to add to their tool kits and help them as they work to make changes to their curriculums and classrooms to address what is happening in our country right now,” she said.

And with that, the Authors of Color of Macomb School District 185 GoFundMe was launched, with the initial goal set at $1,500. To date, Buchanan has received over $1,400 to purchase books for a wide range of grades, plus numerous books for donation, and the more donations that come in, the more books can be purchased, she added.

To donate, individuals can visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/authors-of-color-of-macomb-school-district-185, or email rebekahjbuchanan@gmail.com to donate books. She will collect books through July.

“I want teachers and students to have access to books that are mirrors and windows so that children and young adults can learn about differences and tolerance and also see people who look like them doing things that all people do,” Buchanan added.

Buchanan’s inspiration came from such organizations as We Need Diverse Books. Her goal is to provide local students with access to contemporary books (written within the last three years) by authors who are writing and working in the present, and writers they can follow on Instagram, who they can possibly meet and who are writing and illustrating books that represent their lives and experiences right now.

“Books can be donated for grades PK-12, so early readers all the way to young adults have access to a variety of genres,” she noted. “This drive to get books to Macomb School District is a way that individuals can help be part of making a difference in our community and supporting our young people.”

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Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.