ALTON - Often children learn prejudice and racism from the grownups in their life. Even well-intentioned adults can pass along bias by not having deliberate conversations about diversity and race. Diverstory: Reading for Equity is a program designed to empower families so they feel better prepared to talk about race and racism with children.

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Hosted by YWCA and Post Commons, Diverstory is a free story time for children ages 2- 10 years, where children and their grownups come together to listen to children’s stories about diversity and engage in conversations and activities about diversity, belonging, and race. Every family will receive copies of the books that are read to take home and continue intentional conversations about race.

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Our aim is to equip children and adults with the resources and support they need to join in the work of bringing change and equity to our community. The facilitators for this event are Candice Wallace and Becky Cowart. Candice, lifelong Alton area resident, is a 3rd grade teacher in Alton and YWCA Woman of Distinction. She has degrees in Elementary Education and Curriculum and Instruction and is the owner of Scholars on the Rise Tutoring. Becky has degrees in Sociology, Anthropology and Early Childhood Education with many years teaching experience. She serves on the YWCA Racial Justice Committee, the Alton Branch National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the local non-profit Women Restoration Entering Stability, Tolerance, Love, and Empathy (WRESTLE).

Candice and Becky look forward to connecting with local families through Diverstory: Reading for Equity. Our story time will take place Tuesday, February 28 from 3:30-4:30 at Post Commons at 300 Alby St in Alton. Funding for the Diverstory for Equity program is provided by a literacy grant from the Metro East Community Rotary Club and YWCA.

To register for the Divestory: Reading for Equity, please use this link: . If you have any questions, please contact YWCA at 618.465.7774 or email YW at

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