Aelora’s role in the Reading is Resistance project this term was primarily focused on compiling research and creating content for the Reading is Resistance website, as well as creating a website skeleton for Kaitlin to refine and add the branding to.
One of our goals for this project during spring term was to continue to both update the website and its level of professionalism to draw in a wider scope of potential users, as well as to create content for the Reading is Resistance blog that reflected the program’s dedication to promoting diverse children and youth’s literature in the Northeast Portland area through a combination of book reviews, thought pieces on ideas of diversity, literature, and social justice, as well overviews on events in the Northeast Portland area.
These themes of diversity in literature, the importance of inter-connectivity and understanding of our fellow humans and their different perspectives come through in the content of the blog, as well as the overall outline and design of the website. Instead of being only a blog site, Reading is Resistance now has a compilation of all the great information on the program, including a deeper look at our Mission, as well as a dedicated page to new volunteers and how they can get involved. With the addition of a business Squarespace platform, future students will find the site and blog user-friendly, allowing them to focus on the work at hand.
“I am a lifelong and avid reader, especially as a child, and the idea of children finding themselves in the worlds they escape to, in their heroes and themes, is what made working on this special to me.” Aelora states at one point. “Making it personal made it easier to put into perspective just how important community is in the development and well-being of its citizens.”
Kaitlin’s role in the project was primarily design based. She was responsible for branding Reading is Resistance, updating the website’s aesthetics and working on a few supplemental pieces for project needs.
Another goal, which she executed beautifully, was to create a branding system that would represent the values of Reading is Resistance while being engaging, approachable and fun to our target audience, namely families and children. We decided on a bright and playful color palette to appeal to both children and their parents. In addition, the logo has a hand-touched element to it in order to represent the personal necessity for community aspect of the program.
These themes translate to the website as well. It looks bold, bright and engaging. The website features the blog, mission, partners, impact, programs, press and ways to get involved. With so much great information, our goal was to make it easy to access and navigate. Now Reading is Resistance has a place for current and potential participants to go to in order to find out more and learn how to help the cause.
“Working on this project meant so much to me,” Kaitlin expresses in the video. “It was so special to merge my design skills to a social justice cause that I am passionate about.” Again, having these personal renditions of what it takes to make a project like this happen behind the scenes can help future students get a grasp on what their role might look like one day.
Our goal for this project was to use blog writing and design to help Reading is Resistance become more visible to the community that they care so much about, as well as give them the tools that enables them and others to do so. By participating, we hope to find new support and volunteers to help supplement donations with the purchases of books that represent the diversity seen in that community, in language, gender, ethnicity, values, and more. It is our responsibility as students and as community members to provide books that encourage kindness, justice, hope, and peace for the children and families in our area.”