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7-year-old girl raises thousands of dollars to give ‘multicultural crayons,’ diverse books to schools

A 7-year-old African American girl is taking a step towards educating her fellow students about diversity, by donating multicultural crayons and books featuring diverse characters to some schools in the United States.

Madison Wilson began her fundraising project “Help Fill Madi’s Treasure Box” with the help of her mother Vashti Tameka Wilson. Madison aims to donate “[1,000] crayon boxes and 500 books with all sorts of main characters,” by raising funds until July 15, 2020, as per her GoFundMe page.

Madison Wilson
7-year-old Madison Wilson. Image: screengrab from “Help Fill Madi’s Treasure Box” GoFundMe page

“Sometimes, there are only books with peach kids, and there should be books with brown kids like me too,” Madison said.

The fundraiser has raised over $19,200 (over P951,000), as of this writing, just a few hundred dollars shy of her $20,000-goal (over P990,000).

Madison apparently got the idea for the initiative after noticing the lack of representation of people of color in movies and literature. Vashti encouraged her child and helped her make the crowdfunding page, as per Good Morning America on July 1.

The child will donate 15 books and 24 boxes of crayons per classroom for every $2,500 (over P123,000) she raises.

“She’s one of three black children in her entire school,” Vashti was quoted as saying. “She said crayons are either too dark or too light for her and so she wanted all the kids to be able to find something that would match them.”

Art supply company Crayola previously launched its Multicultural Crayons set to represent different skin tones of different ethnicities around the world. Vashti said that these will be the crayons that they will buy for the students in California.

The mom said that Madison wants every kid to access books featuring minorities as they remain underrepresented in libraries at schools.

“If you look at the movies, the books, the protagonist is usually a white woman or white male and [if there’s a black character] it’s usually a supporting character,” Vashti said in the report. “When you’re a kid and see this, it’s almost like a small paper cut. Paper cuts hurt and those little hurts build up.” JB

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