Partnership Brings Books by Asian-American Authors to Albany Classrooms

Thanks to a collaboration between the Albany Fund for Education, the #518AsianAlliance, and the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, students in all of Albany’s elementary school classrooms will get to learn about Asian-American experiences, through the words and pictures of acclaimed Asian-American authors and illustrators.

“Representation in media is important. Students feel seen and respected when they see others that mirror themselves in what they are watching and reading. There are multiple Asian students in our classroom and our school community. It’s important for those students to see themselves represented in the books that we read, and it’s important for all students to respect, embrace, and celebrate what makes us different and special.”

– April Zwack, New Scotland Elementary School

More than 160 CSDA elementary school teachers chose one of six books identified by members of the #518AsianAlliance, a grassroots volunteer-based group bringing together the collective power and lived experiences of Asian people and communities in the Capital District, to use in their classroom.

The Alliance provided seed money for the project and curated the books to reach different age levels and cultural communities, while also focusing on books that will resonate with students of all backgrounds.

Rachel Hye Yoon Rupright of the 518AsianAlliance and AFE Board President Kathryn Bamberger sort books to distribute to teachers

AFE is funding the purchase of the books through a $3,000 Innovation Grant, written by Lynn Strang, the district’s Elementary Instructional Supervisor for Literacy and Social Studies, and the Book House is assisting by providing a generous bulk purchase discount!