Barnes & Noble and the Anti-Defamation League have joined to create the "Close the Book on Hate" initiative, an educational program designed to help eradicate prejudice by teaching children diversity through books.
The Ellicott City Barnes & Noble participates by sponsoring a "Hate Hurts" story time. Today, readers at the bookstore will use two books as tools to illustrate how differences in people benefit us all: "The Sneetches" by Dr. Seuss and "The Crayon Box That Talked" by Shane DeRolf.
"The Sneetches" shows that pointless prejudice can be costly for those on the giving as well as receiving end - literally. Birds of two different feathers - the Star-Belly Sneetches and the Plain-Belly Sneetches - learn to flock together after a con man cheats them out of their money by persuading them to change their natural traits.
"The Crayon Box That Talked" delivers the message that there is power in the interactions of a bunch of colors and their varying traits. At first, the crayons within the box can't stand one another. But when a young girl uses them to create a picture, the crayons begin to recognize one another's singularity and celebrate it as necessary to the overall picture.
For more information about educational programs you can use with your children to emphasize the worth of all races, religions, colors, cultures, abilities and genders, check out the Anti-Defamation League's Web site at www.adl.org. The library program is at 10 a.m., 4300 Montgomery Road, 410-203-9001.