15 Facts About We Stories That Might Surprise You

Welcome to the We Stories community!

We know you share a passion for our mission to create conversation, change and hope in St. Louis and a more inclusive and equitable future for all.  And, we are so grateful to count YOU among the families ready to make change.

What we do is pretty simple, and really powerful. We provide families with beautiful, compelling picture books that feature diverse characters and address race and racism. We pair the books with monthly, thematic resources that help parents bring the books to life and advance their own learning. And, we foster a supportive community among the participating families through a closed Facebook group and regular in-person events.

In case you’re just joining our journey now, here's a peek into the story behind We Stories:

  1. Did you know that We Stories was founded in November 2015 by two St. Louis County moms (who happen to also be social entrepreneurs, racial justice advocates and dreamers)?

  2. Did you know that we entirely self-funded a pilot of our Family Learning Program from November 2015 - February 2016?  The 80 families who participated in the pilot told us they found it so valuable that they didn’t want the experience to end.

  3. Did you know that we received our 501c3 status from the IRS in April 2016 (that means we’re legit… and any donations you make are tax-deductible!)?

  4. Did you know that our work has received great media coverage?  Take a look: St. Louis on the Air (NPR), St. Louis Post-Dispatch, We Live Here, The Jewish Light, Forward Through Ferguson, and St. Joseph News-Press?

  5. Did you know that We Stories was invited to attend South by South Lawn, a first of its kind festival of ideas, art and action hosted by the White House?

  6. Did you know We Stories has been featured across the parenting blogosphere? Check out: Kids in the Stairwell, The Adoptive Duo, Raising Race Conscious Children, Mixed ReMixed, Mother in the Mix, Showing Up for Racial Justice, and MommyBites

  7. Did you know that in our first ten months We Stories touched hundred of lives?  As of September 2016, 280 families were participating in our Family Learning Program and more than 450 others were waiting to join!  

  8. Did you know that our community is engaged, vibrant and growing? Families tell us they are learning, talking and taking action to counteract racism more than ever before.

  9. Did you know that our program model is built upon research that strongly supports the importance of discussing race with children in their preschool years and the effectiveness of picture books for doing so?

  10. Did you know we received grants from United Way of Greater St. Louis, Regional Business Council, and Awesome Foundation to build our capacity?  

  11. Did you know we are proud to count many of our participating families and their friends and relatives among our donors?  We are especially grateful for the generosity of Eugene and Debra Horwitz, Lisa and Maury Friedman Foundation, and Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear workshop and CEO of the Clark-Fox Family Foundation.

  12. Did you know that we have forged amazing and innovative partnerships with existing St. Louis treasures, like the St. Louis County Library, Kirkwood Public Library, Missouri History Museum, ADL, and COCA?

  13. Did you know that St. Louis County Library has added over 700 copies of We Stories recommended books to its collection, which were checked out over 1,200 times in less than 3 months?

  14. Did you know that anyone can join our community by following us on Facebook, reading our blog, or picking up one of 11 thematic #WeStoriesLovesTheLibrary kits available at county library branches or at Kirkwood Library?  

  15. Did you know we are entirely powered by the generosity of people like you?

It was the question “what if?” that brought We Stories to life.  

We were willing to question the conventional wisdom that most white families just don't care about racism.  Instead, we've asked what might be possible if we invited more families to be part of the solution.  We could have never guessed that in less than 10 months 800 families would reach out to say, "count me in!"

As one of our pilot participants put it: "People would be surprised by the impact that simply diversifying your home library can have."

Today, in hundreds of households across our region, bookshelves now more fully reflect the diversity of our region, and important parent-child conversations that hadn't been happening are now both commonplace and ongoing.  Hundreds upon hundreds of families that were previously counted out have told us they not only care about racism, but are willing to do something about it.  How powerful is that?

Now, we are faced with a new question: What's possible? 

We invite you to join us in answering that question by investing in the future of We Stories and the power of diverse children’s books today. Together we'll contribute to a future makes all our kids proud to call St. Louis home.  Find out more at www.beapageturner.org.