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Task force releases LGBTQ+ booklist for Santa Cruz County

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)-- The Santa Cruz County of Education has finalized a list called "The 40 LGBTQ+ Books that Every School Library Should Have" on Tuesday.

This project was undertaken as a commitment to more safety and inclusiveness for LGBTQ+ students. Ten titles were chosen for the grades PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

"When students see themselves reflected back in culture, curriculum, and media, they are empowered to work harder and dream bigger," said Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Faris Sabbah. "We hope this list serves as a useful resource for schools here in Santa Cruz County and beyond, especially during a moment in which some are actively working to censor LGBTQ+ voices from our classrooms."

The LGBTQ+ Book Selection Task Force had 16 people made up of librarians, students, educators and Bookshop Santa Cruz representatives that met regularly since February to finalize the list.

Criteria for the book included:

  • The main character must be part of the LGBTQ+ community and positively represented
  • The book must be well-written and have a complex storyline
  • The book must represent different genders, ethnicities and sexual orientations
  • The book was published in the past ten years.

"The next phase will be finding the funding to purchase these books for all of the school libraries throughout Santa Cruz County and to notify the authors about their book selections, so hopefully, we can have these authors visit our area in the future," Darrow said. In addition, the COE has allocated funds this summer to support teachers in creating curriculum guides to incorporate the books into lessons. The curriculum resources are expected to be ready by October, LGBTQ+ history month.

The booklist can be viewed here.

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Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23

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