Kaye Nicholson-Horn, a former JEP columnist who was nominated in the Diversity and Inclusion category at the most recent Pride of Jersey Awards, encouraged her employer, Vistra, to buy a series of books from the company Little Box of Books for St Lawrence School.
The books cost £500 and include stories showing gender equality, diversity in culture and race, and representation of different types of families and disabilities.
Mrs Nicholson-Horn, whose son, Silas, attends the school, is currently setting up an LGBTQ+ network for Vistra’s Channel Island offices to promote diversity and inclusion.
She said: ‘As part of this network proposal, and under our corporate social responsibility initiative, I asked for funding to diversify the books at Silas’s school.
‘Having reviewed the library books there, I noticed a lack of diverse representation in all aspects, from LGBTQ+ role models and families, single parents/adoptive/foster parents/blended families, multicultural main characters, disabilities and body positivity, which I was keen to improve.’
Mrs Nicholson-Horn, a senior trust officer, added: ‘In terms of further rollout to other schools, this is something we are looking at in combination with fundraising and the possibilities of working with charities or partnering with other firms. If anybody would like to get involved, please do contact me.’
St Lawrence head teacher Amory Charlesworth said it was often surprisingly difficult to find children’s books with characters representative of society.
‘Article 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child says that children’s education should teach them to understand their own rights and to respect other people’s rights, cultures and differences.
‘It is important that our entire school population is able to see themselves in stories. St Lawrence School is committed to preparing its children to be responsible, caring and inclusive citizens and the gift of diverse books we have received will help us to achieve this goal.’
Anyone interested in getting involved can contact Mrs Nicholson-Horn by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.