Tracey Pugh’s mission in life is to teach, whether she is inside or outside of the classroom.
“It’s just so important that our young people learn these reading habits early in life,” Pugh said.
It’s not just about learning for Pugh, who teaches at a North Texas private school, but also representation in class and in literature.
“When I was a kid in school in Richardson ISD, I was really the only little girl who looked like me. The books that we read reflected that. I just didn’t want that for kids these days,” Pugh said.
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Pugh, who has been an educator for two decades, recently released her new children’s books the Lil Tracey Series.
“I really needed my daughter to see this. I wanted to increase the visibility of the Black, female protagonist in children’s books,” Pugh said. “For me, it was about establishing a footprint of change through youth literacy development.”
Pugh has partnered with the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign founded by Marley Dias, a teen author and activist, to donate books worldwide in order to increase the visibility of Black, female protagonists in children’s books.
“It’s going to be an ongoing initiative of giving back through the campaign and the GrassROOTS Community Foundation,” Pugh said. "For every two Lil Tracey Series books purchased, a book will be donated to the campaign and distributed to communities and schools around the world."
While this is about diversity in literature, she said it’s also about helping kids find the joy of reading again.
“I’m not against technology, I just want children to have the magic of books. It's still there. We just need to kind of reinvent it and reintroduce them to that,” Pugh said.
Pugh is also the founder of Sociallywize, an online platform that provides social skills tolls and encouragement gifts.