Equal Read Classrooms

Equal Read Classrooms

Katherine Dinh, Head of School, Prospect Sierra, with student

“Diverse and representative children’s literature is an excellent way to create a sense of identity safety by allowing children to see themselves reflected in meaningful ways in the world.” —Becki Cohn-Vargas, co-author of Identity-Safe Classrooms

Research shows that increases in identity-safety result in increased student achievement. Identity-Safe Classrooms are:

Identity safe classrooms are those in which teachers strive to ensure students that their social identities are an asset rather than a barrier to success in the classroom.  And, through strong positive relationships and opportunities to learn, they feel they are welcomed, supported, and valued as members of the learning community.


Through a research-based program including:

• group and 1-to-1 teacher professional development;
• multiple points of interactive student/parent and care-giver education;
• author visits; and,
• community building activities

all designed around outstanding, diverse children’s literature and integrated with curriculum, Equal Read helps create more identity-safe learning environments.

Collections of representative and broadly diverse children’s books are keys to increased engagement, reducing stereotype threat, increasing identity-safety, and building cultural competency in schools.

“Equal Read provides us with thoughtful research on the importance of diversifying children’s literature to support students’ social, emotional, and academic growth. We have already seen our students feel more connected to their learning since we engaged Equal Read in our classrooms and libraries.” —Katherine Dinh, Head of School, Prospect Sierra

 Equal Read Classrooms Team

There is a waiting list for schools interested in piloting Equal Read Classrooms. To add your school or classroom to the list, complete the form below: