Mena and Zena Nasiri are Michigan-based students, in high school and college, who established Girls of the Crescent in order to supply schools and public entities with diverse literature, including stories that represent women of the Muslim faith. The organization, established in March of 2018, has donated 1,275 books to 82 schools, libraries, and mosques in 8 countries. Bloomfield Hills Schools was recently gifted with book bundles that will increase the diversity within the District's literary collections in our media centers.
Mena is 17 and is a senior in high school. Zena is 18 and is a college freshman. They share, “when we first started our nonprofit we started off by trying to donate books to every school media center in our school district, Rochester Community Schools. Now that we’ve been able to do that we wanted to do the same for our mom’s school district!” Zena and Mena’s mother, Deyar Nasiri, is the BHS English Learner Family Liaison and supports English Language Development classrooms.
Mena and Zena explain, “Whenever we have a donation, we use our list of books on our website to decide which books to donate. Our list has hundreds of books from children to young adult, and many of the books on the list have more specific age ranges that help us decide what school to give them to. We also research and read reviews for all the books on our list to make sure they have positive representation.
“Our mother saw that the Multicultural Celebration Committee was looking for diverse books and we wanted to help the committee get books with female Muslim main characters into the district. We reached out to them and offered to donate a bundle of books to each school media center. We have attended a Multicultural Celebration, and we loved it! There were so many cultures represented and it was amazing seeing people share and be proud of their identity. Sharing your culture and identity allows you to connect to it and the community around it, while also educating people outside of that culture about its inherent value. Embracing and celebrating our diversity allows everyone to feel appreciated and included!”
The District’s Multicultural Celebration is an annual celebration of the diversity of our school families. Students will have opportunities to share their own culture or a culture they would like to learn more about. This year’s event will take place in May of 2022. Each year, the event has a theme that ties together exhibits - this year’s theme will be Art Around the World.
Thank you to Girls of the Crescent for the generous book donations across Bloomfield Hills Schools!