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The CBC Partners with the unPrison Project for Second-Consecutive Year to Build Prison-Nursery Libraries for Incarcerated Mothers and Their Babies


New York, NY June 8, 2016 – The Children’s Book Council (CBC) has partnered once again with The unPrison Project — a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to empowering and mentoring women in prison, while raising awareness of their families’ needs — to create brand-new libraries of books for incarcerated mothers to read with their babies at prison nurseries in 20 states.

Fourteen of the CBC’s member publishers have joined this meaningful endeavor by donating copies of over 35 hand-picked titles for children ages 0-18 months for each library. The books will be hand-delivered and organized in the nurseries by Deborah Jiang-Stein, founder of The unPrison Project and author of Prison Baby. Jiang-Stein was born in prison to a heroin-addicted mother, and has made it her mission to empower and mentor women and girls in prison. To build more awareness about women and mass incarceration, feminist activist and writer Gloria Steinem and Jiang-Stein spoke together recently in a Midwestern prison, and are making plans for future visits to other prisons across the country.

CBC members participating in the effort are:

  • Abrams Books for Young Readers
  • Candlewick Press
  • Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Creston Books
  • Disney Publishing
  • HarperCollins Children’s Books
  • Holiday House, Inc.
  • Kane Miller, a division of EDC Publishing
  • Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers
  • National Geographic Kids
  • Nobrow (Flying Eye Books)
  • Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Random House Children’s Books
  • The RoadRunner Press

“70% of all prisoners are re-incarcerated within five years of their release. But of those who receive help with literacy during their sentence, only 16% return to prison. The unPrison Project works to build literacy for incarcerated women and their children because it is a lifeline for freedom and an essential steppingstone for successful living outside prison,” says Jiang-Stein. “The partnership with the CBC allows us to donate brand new books to prison nurseries and also for mother-child reading on visiting days so that they can bond over a book and at the same time enhance their reading levels.”

“This project will bring much-needed books to mothers and their children — in keeping with the CBC’s mission of promoting books and reading to young people everywhere,” says Jon Anderson, Chair of the Children’s Book Council Board of Directors.

About the Children’s Book Council (CBC)

The Children’s Book Council is the nonprofit trade association for children’s book publishers in North America. The CBC offers children’s publishers the opportunity to work together on issues of importance to the industry at large, including educational programming, literacy advocacy, and collaborations with other national organizations. Our members span the spectrum from large international houses to smaller independent presses. The CBC is proud to partner with other national organizations on co-sponsored reading lists, educational programming, and literacy initiatives. Please visit www.cbcbooks.org for more information.

 About The unPrison Project

The mission of The unPrison Project (UP) is to empower, inspire, and cultivate critical thinking, life skills, self-reflection, and peer mentoring for women and girls in prison as tools to plan, set goals, and prepare for a successful life after their release, and at the same time bring public awareness about the needs of incarcerated women and their children. The unPrison Project is a registered 501(c)3  nonprofit. Learn more at www.unprisonproject.org.

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Emma Kantor
Communications Coordinator
The Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader
P: 212-966-1990  
E: emma.kantor[at]cbcbooks.org

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