We want children to be able to see themselves in literature, art and cultural experiences. We also want them to see things from perspectives they haven’t yet encountered and experience new cultural influences, helping them think about the way they view people and experience the world.
We have two important aims:
Offering activities that are completely free of charge
Helping children (and their families) to #ReadTheOnePercent
Why do we care about this?
“Being a reader opens the world to children and therefore we absolutely believe in every child’s right to access quality literature that honours, values and reflects the reality in which they live. But we also know that reading is a tremendously important factor in developing empathy and understanding for lives and contexts beyond your own. In fact, books that offer perspectives from beyond your own life or context can be individually and collectively transformative.”
(Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive – Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, 2018)
At Broken Light Bulb CIC we believe that literature and art make life better. It helps children broaden their view of the world, develop empathy and learn from new ideas whilst improving their literacy and cognitive abilities along the way. We love books that reflect a rich diversity of characters and experiences, but they are not always readily available and few are showcased at more traditional literature events and festivals.
A report from the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) revealed that only 1% of the Children’s books published in the UK in 2017 have a BAME main character. In fact, of the 9115 children’s books published in the UK in 2017 on 391 (4%) featured any BAME characters at all.
The degree and quality of BAME representation and the reflection of other differences such as, disability, learning differences, different family dynamics or different socio-economic circumstances in children’s literature is insufficient.
We want children to be able to see themselves in literature, art and cultural experiences. We also want them to see things from perspectives they haven’t yet encountered and experience new cultural influences helping them think about the way they view people and experience the world.
So we have a key aim to showcase writing, illustration and spoken word that reflects a rich diversity. We like books where the lead characters are diverse. We don’t like that there are so few of these books and that they can be hard to find. We also seek out literature and art where different circumstances, cultures and perspectives are woven through the stories and images.
We know that these issues are increasingly recognised in the publishing industry, in education and elsewhere and hope that in time this will make a real and sustained difference. But we also know that action on a grass roots level in our own communities and local areas is vital.
We love the work that people like the brilliant Knightsof are doing in publishing inclusive children’s literature and setting up their #readtheonepercent bookshop in Brixton. We want to expand this ethos bringing it beyond the major cities to places like the traditional market town where we live.
What are we doing?
We are developing diverse programmes and are working hard to ensure that Bright Bulb Book events are free to attend. We know that the level of disposable income has an impact on whether people can participate so we want to be able to offer enriching experiences without high ticket prices.
To us this is a key element to real inclusivity and cultural vibrancy.