PROVO, Utah (KSTU) — An elementary school student from Utah has inspired her school to revamp the library.
Emi Kim was just trying to spread a positive message to her school. But this has led to significant change throughout the community.
Emi began reading books that featured characters like her.
The 9-year old is Hawaiian, Polynesian Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.
Emi said, “People… We’re afraid of the things we don’t understand.” “I believe that’s why people mistreat others based on their appearance or their culture or the things they have learned about their culture.
Emi shared her cultural heritage with her school to help others understand it.
“She had a PowerPoint and told me how white characters and animals were most represented in books, and how she really wanted to do something about that,” said Kim Hawkins, director and Westridge Elementary in Provo, Utah.
Emi, Emi’s aunt and mother had a plan to bring more diverse books into the library. However, Emi was aware that the cost of bringing in the collection would be prohibitive. Emi started a lemonade and pastry shop to cover the cost.
Emi sold lemonade, butter mochi and cupcakes as well as cookies and lemonade. Emi was able to not only buy 15 books for her school but also buy 60 additional books for four schools in the same district.
Provo’s school district was inspired by Emi’s passion and drive to succeed.
“Our district has kind of taken the leap that Emi started, and they’ve bought the books for all the elementary schools,” Hawkins explains. Emi has made it possible for all our primary schools to have these amazing books.
Emi’s Books is the book collection that Emi bought.
Emi hopes the book will be a way for students to discover new things, and others like Emi to see themselves in it.
She said, “I hope that all children are inspired by positive changes.”