In the August 31, 2020, issue of Scholastic News Edition 4, we are introduced to Bellen Woodard, an inspiring 9-year-old from Leesburg, Virginia, who is trying to help all children feel represented by providing them with diverse skin-colored crayons that they can use in the classroom.
When Bellen was in third grade, a classmate asked her a question she had heard countless times before: “Would you please pass the skin-colored crayon?” As she usually did, Bellen handed her classmate the peach colored crayon. However, this time Bellen was bothered. She was the only Black girl in her grade, and while the peach crayon matched most of the other kids’ skin colors, it did not match her own. After that day, Bellen was determined to make sure kids recognized that peach was not the only skin color out there. So she spoke up and advocated for crayon packs that represent a range of skin tones.
Bellen launched her More Than Peach Project in 2019. After saving up money, Bellen ordered crayons in diverse, inclusive skin tones and created special kits packed along with sketch pads. She donated these kits to schools near her hometown. Before long, word of Bellen’s amazing project spread on social media and requests were coming in from nationwide for her crayon kits!
Since the start of her initiative, Bellen has donated about 4,000 kits to schools across the country. She has also created her very own brand of specially made crayons. Even after the wide-spread popularity of her kits, Bellen still plans to continue her mission to change the world—one crayon at a time.
To read about Bellen’s powerful story, and to learn about more kids who are making a difference in their communities, check out the latest issue of Scholastic News Edition 4, here.