Charisse Sims is a passionate advocate for youth literacy and educational opportunities. For over a decade she has worked to create access to resources and empower young people with creative spaces and a platform to express their voices. Charisse began her career as an educator, and with it came a deep-seated belief in the importance of making learning accessible to all children. Her experience in the classroom and as a Preschool owner led her to recognize the need for a more comprehensive approach to early childhood education. She also recognized the gaps in literacy and access to literature and culturally relevant materials in early literacy programs. In August of 2020 she co-founded the Sims Library of Poetry with her husband, Hiram Sims, where she serves as the Director of the Youth Literacy Programs. In her work at the Sims Library of Poetry, Charisse strives to build bridges between educators and students through her children’s book publishing class where educators are writing and publishing culturally relevant books to add diversity and representation to children’s bookshelves. She believes in the power of the written word to connect diverse audiences with multifaceted messages. Through this work, she has left an indelible mark on hundreds of kids’ lives. Charisse’s commitment to early education and early literacy has earned her the award of being named a PBS Early Learning Champion. As part of that role, she is working with the PBS to expand access to education and educational resources and strategies for more kids and teachers across the country. Charisse’s determination and drive to ensure that every child has access to the same learning opportunities is an example of true passion and dedication. She is an inspirational leader and an invaluable asset to the education community, making a meaningful difference for the students she serves.