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New Children’s Bookstore In West Palm Beach Looks To Elevate Diverse, Inclusive Stories

A story time with Rohi's Readery. The official location opens up June 18th, 2021.
van richardson
A story time with Rohi's Readery. The official location opens up June 18th, 2021.

A new standalone children’s bookstore in Downtown West Palm Beach’s Rosemary Square is a unique space for inclusive, diverse stories.

It’s a “social-justice driven bookstore” committed to teach critical literacy about social issues within historically marginalized communities, says Pranati "Pranoo" Kumar, an education consultant and founder of Rohi’s Readery.

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Kumar, who is of Indian descent, said the bookstore aims to expose the public to stories too often ignored in various educational spaces — untold stories by “the Black and Brown community, the LGBTQIA community, immigrants such as myself.”

“Those of us who grew up in an education system that was not historically created for us,” Kumar said. "And finding ways in which we can make sure that we are righting the wrongs of the past of our educational experiences.”

Kumar was an early childhood educator in Harlem, New York, and she previously served as a "founding instructional leader" and coach at Impact Public Schools in Seattle. Kumar said she developed school curriculums focused around social and emotional learning — alongside math, literacy, and science — for her students who were primarily of Ethiopian, Eritrean, Somalian, and Mexican descent.

Kumar lives in West Palm Beach now, and has since worked with local non-profits Path to College and Inner City Innovators. She says the children’s book store, tucked on the corner of Rosemary Avenue and Hibiscus Street, will feature educational programming, a future campus resource hub, and story time read aloud or what she calls "revolutionary story time."

Rohi’s Readery, debuting June 18, will help foster a sense of belonging and empowerment, “highlighting books that are diverse and inclusive," she said.

"We’re also trying to be as intentional as possible around the authors and illustrators being people of color of the global majority," Kumar said.

Wilkine Brutus is the Palm Beach County Reporter for WLRN. The award-winning journalist produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs. Contact Wilkine at wbrutus@wlrnnews.org
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