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May 8, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Book deserts in the District’s wards 7 and 8

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | DC has a highly educated population with libraries in every ward, but not bookstores. According to a new analysis, there are no bookstores in wards 7 and 8, which is harmful to children’s development. Though the District has a program, Books From Birth, which sends one book a month to children who participate, experts say having an actual bookstore in a child’s neighborhood has a greater impact. (GGWash, 5/5)

Other urban communities, such as the Bronx, face deep book deserts, but DC’s desert stands out to [New York University Professor of Childhood and Literacy Education] Susan Neuman. “What was particularly concerning was the lack of access during the summer when schools are closed, and other resources such as child care was limited to enable children to have access to stimulating activities.”

To get books in front of the eyes of children and parents, Neuman says the effort needs to be robust. “Children need to see books, in grocery stores, dollar stores, barbershops and nail salons, because children learn to read by seeing their families read or by seeing it modeled on a regular basis. The libraries are doing a great job, but there is something special about owning a book and calling it your own.”

IMPLICIT BIAS | Are the tools we are currently employing to end implicit bias actually working? (Atlantic, 5/7)

Related: Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, urged us to examine the role of implicit bias in police shootings in the aftermath of Jordan Edwards’ death. For a deeper dive into implicit bias, check out (or revisit) Julie Nelson’s talk from the Putting Racism on the Table series last year.

ARLINGTON | A profile of Arlington, Virginia shows the growth of the county and characteristics of its population. (ArligtonVA, 5/5)

HOUSING | Loudoun County officials discuss how to address its future housing needs in a Loudoun Chamber of Commerce’s Policymakers event last week. (Loudoun Times, 5/4)

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | Know of a company doing great work in the community? Nominate them for the U.S. Chamber’s 2017 Corporate Citizenship Awards! The deadline to submit is June 23.

ENVIRONMENT | In a few years, we might be able to swim in the Anacostia River. (WAMU, 5/5)


A new television show profiles DC restaurants.

– Kendra

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