CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Children's author Aisha Rice is inspiring Charlottesville kids to read more and embrace themselves for who they are.

Rice - a graduate of George Mason and Georgetown Universities - spoke to boys and girls at Friendship Court on Tuesday afternoon. She discussed her debut book, "My Kinky, Coily Hair," which is about a young girl who struggles with self-acceptance.

"We want to teach kids to appreciate literacy and just to understand that who they are is important and to continue to be those people just loving themselves and its very important for children to know that at a young age, so they can grow up to be awesome adults," Rice said.

The event kicked off the Summer Reading Challenge at Friendship Court. Kids who complete the challenge over the course of the summer will receive a prize at the end.