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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Students design inclusive coloring books for youth

Student+Volunteer+Connection+member+Kenadee+Fears+decorates+a+coloring+book+for+the+Boys+and+Girls+Club+in+the+LBJ+Student+Center+on+Thursday%2C+Feb.+20%2C+2020%2C+at+Texas+State+University.+Photo+credit%3A+Brianna+Benitez

Student Volunteer Connection member Kenadee Fears decorates a coloring book for the Boys and Girls Club in the LBJ Student Center on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, at Texas State University. Photo credit: Brianna Benitez

A motivation to make a difference and a passion to inspire community youth fueled Texas State Bobcats as they worked together to paste, decorate and create coloring books for kids.
Student Volunteer Connection donated multicultural shade crayons and custom coloring books featuring historic black figures for the Boys and Girls Club of South Central Texas on Tuesday, Feb. 25 in an effort to give back and inspire local youth.
The coloring books feature historical black figures such as Mae Jemision, the first African American woman to travel to space, Louis Armstrong, influential jazz musician, George Washington Carver, an African American scientist who created more than 300 products from peanuts and Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in Major League Baseball.
Malorie McGruder, education sophomore, is the philanthropy coordinator for SVC and is responsible for creating the organization’s monthly Bobcat Acts of Kindness, events that open up an opportunity for all Texas State students to earn community service hours through volunteering with SVC.
Feb. 20, SVC hosted “Coloring Through History” a BAK event that allowed both SVC members and Texas State students to create custom coloring books for BGCSCT.
McGruder said it was important for SVC to create and donate the books in order to show the kids of BGCSCT that they are capable of accomplishing their goals and have the chance to be just as successful as the historical figures featured in the coloring books.
“I want them to see we have astronauts, we have doctors, we have inventors,” McGruder said. “I want these kids to know they can do whatever they want to and nothing is going to stop them.”
Through the donation of not only the books but the multicultural shade crayons, SVC is hoping to normalize the idea of kids being able to color in characters with inclusive skin tones.
SVC public relations and marketing coordinator Millenia Watkins, marketing sophomore, said she rarely saw book characters that looked like her growing up. She said she felt that it was important for SVC to donate multicultural crayons along with the coloring books to show kids that book characters can and should be able to look like them.
“I remember the first time I saw a black character in a book that you would read to kids and I literally cried,” Watkins said. “I had never seen that before. All the stories that were read to me as a child or like that I saw never had black characters.”
Growing up, Watkins said she would have to mix purple and green crayons to create the color of her skin. She said she would have never thought about there being multicultural crayons as a kid and is grateful that they exist now for today’s youth.
“You get used to never seeing yourself, not even as an astronaut, but literally just in a book or in a pen that’s your shade,” Watkins said. “I had to be a mixologist at six years old to get my cocoa shade and it’s unfortunate.”
The underlying theme for “Coloring Through History” was not only to celebrate Black History Month but to provide the kids of BGCSCT with an opportunity to learn more about historical black figures. At the event, SVC members discussed how most of them did not learn much about black history growing up and how they are hoping to change that reality for the youth community.
Each page of the coloring books feature a short blurb on each historic individual, which discusses their accomplishments and showcases their significance to black history.
SVC member, Kenadee Fears, nursing freshman, said it is important for children to learn about different individuals and historical objectives that are not taught in the traditional classroom curriculum.
“We’re not always told the truth about black history so it’s important that everybody learns it,” Fears said. “I think that it’s good that we as an organization are going out into the community and expressing this.”
SVC event coordinator Raven Perez, sociology sophomore, said she hopes the kids will feel represented and will be able to recognize that they too can accomplish great things like the individuals in the books.
“I think it’s really important that they can look to their future and be excited to see what the future holds for them and not think they can’t achieve something based on who they are,” Perez said.
Perez said the importance of SVC is to encourage students to care about the community and educate the people around them about social issues.
“We don’t ever talk to be right, we talk to start conversations,” Perez said. “We want this campus to care about everybody, care about each other.”
SVC holds membership meetings every other Monday from 5-6 p.m. Membership is open to any Texas State student and dues are $10. One BAK event is held every month and is open to non-members.
For more information on meeting locations and SVC events, follow @TXST_SVC on Twitter or @txst_svc on Instagram.

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