High School Student Pens Children’s Book Celebrating Diversity

Surayyah “RayRay” Fofana draws on her own experience as well experiences of families and children with varied racial, ethnic and/or religious backgrounds.

Surayyah “RayRay” Fofana, a 16-year-old high school student from New Jersey, has published her first book, RayRay Paints a Self-Portrait, to share with the world a realistic and warm portrayal of a diverse home and to create a character that kids just like RayRay could identify with.

On November 9th, RayRay Paints a Self Portrait was featured on KindCotton.com, a company focused on promoting childhood literacy. Kind Cotton will not be selling the book, but will allow teachers to request copies for free until supplies last. The book is also being sold on Amazon and Barnes & Noble but all proceeds go towards donating additional books to Kind Cotton.

“I’m proud to make an impact in classrooms and in the minds of young readers. Although I’m still growing up, having the opportunity to tell my story has allowed me to relive some of the most memorable and vulnerable moments of my elementary school days.  Through sharing this book with young kids,  I hope it can help them navigate their own experience and maybe even provide some comfort and understanding.”,” said Ms. Fofana. “Ultimately, it’s a book about self-acceptance, self-love, and understanding. It’s an important message I hope to pass on to young people everywhere.”

Teachers may request complimentary class sets of the book here. Copies are limited and will be on a first come, first serve basis.