On Thursday, September 9, and Friday, September 10, the Atlanta Korean American Committee Against Asian Hate made special deliveries to three Gwinnett County public schools—Burnette Elementary, Mason Elementary, and Parsons Elementary. The committee will deliver approximately 33 copies of “I Love You No Matter What” to the schools. Written by Nury Crawford, a director in Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Community-Based Mentoring Program, the book is produced in English and Korean.
BaikKyu Kim, who serves as the chairman of the Atlanta Korean American Committee Against Asian Hate, shares his group’s excitement about this initiative. Chairman Kim says, “Gwinnett County Public Schools serves a large Korean population. Our desire to donate books to schools that are written in Korean serves two primary purposes. First, it provides books in the home language of many GCPS students. Second, it allows others in the school to experience the Korean language, highlights the Asian community, and ensures that children and others in the school community have opportunities to broaden their knowledge about the Asian community and its contributions.” Michelle Kang, the organization’s Secretary General, added that “the committee would also like to encourage other community organizations and members to donate books in different languages. They can donate books to elementary, middle and high schools. We are happy to participate in giving students racially and culturally diverse perspectives and experiences. We are seeking collaborative opportunities to continue donating books.”
Dr. Clay Hunter, associate superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Support, says the district is grateful for the donation. “As a district, we wish to incorporate resources that connect students’ prior knowledge and experiences to what they are learning in the classroom,” said Dr. Hunter. “We also want to expand student choices and promote a culturally responsive classroom that takes into account students’ backgrounds and social experiences. We appreciate the donation of these bilingual books to our schools. The three schools receiving the books are located in clusters that are diverse and that serve a higher Asian population. In addition, Parsons Elementary is home to the district’s Korean Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program.”
Laura Clark, the principal at Parsons Elementary, is excited about the donation. “At Parsons, we celebrate diversity,” Clark said. “As a Korean Dual Language Immersion school, with 48% of our student population being Asian, our goal is to nurture equality and inclusion of all students. As educators, we play an important role in helping students understand the importance of respect for other cultures, including language and other cultural markers. By nurturing an awareness of other cultural beliefs and customs, we cultivate a learning environment of respect. It is important that all students ‘see themselves’ in the books they read, and this book donation from the Atlanta Korean American Committee Against Asian Hate will provide books that allow our Asian students to ‘see themselves’ while allowing students from other ethnicities to gain understanding and appreciation of the Asian culture. We are so grateful for this donation and the positive impact these books will have on our students.”