As library people, we support literacy and reading programs no matter where they are found. Building good readers, and more opportunities for kids to read is great – and this program sounds both fun and so good for building literacy!
If you would like to get involved, and to help support a barbershop, or to suggest a location, check in here!
Barbershop Books is the debut program of Reading Holiday Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit literacy organization in New York City. Developed in Harlem, Barbershop Books is a community-based program that creates child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops across America. We leverage the cultural significance of barbershops in black communities to increase boys’ access to culturally relevant, age appropriate, and gender responsive children’s books and to increase out-of-school time reading among young black boys.
Help black boys ages 4-8 to identify as readers by connecting books and reading to a male-centered space and by involving men in boys’ early reading experiences.
THE LITERACY CHALLENGE
According to the United States Department of Education, more than 85% of America’s black male 4th grade students are not proficient in reading.
In an increasingly global and knowledge-based economy, poor reading skills among young black boys today will produce black men who are unprepared to compete in the workforce of tomorrow. Four key factors contribute to low reading proficiency among black boys: (1) limited access to engaging and age appropriate reading material; (2) lack of black men in black boys’ early reading experiences; (3) few culturally competent educators; and (4) schools that are unresponsive to black boys’ individual learning styles.
(From NewsOK, Oklahoma; )
OKLAHOMA CITY – Dr. Seuss has many words of wisdom, but none more so than what he says about reading: The more you read, the more things you’ll know. The more you know, the more places you’ll go. To focus on developing a culture of reading for Oklahoma City Public Schools students and the community, the OKCPS Compact recently launched ReadOKC.
The Oklahoma City Public Schools Compact, made up of the City of OKC, the Greater OKC Chamber, United Way of Central Oklahoma, The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools and Oklahoma City Public Schools, organized last year to assist OKCPS with key areas that require resources and community assistance. Literacy and reading was identified as the group’s first project and evolved into ReadOKC.
The mission of ReadOKC is to create a culture of reading and literacy in Oklahoma City, beginning with our students. As part of the Great Commitment (the OKCPS strategic plan), OKCPS is working to ensure every student will meet literacy and numeracy criteria for successful transitions throughout elementary school. This happens through reading, both in school and out, and requires the engagement of students, families and the entire community.
(From KTAR news, Phoenix, AZ)
The local “Grow A Reader” program is aiming to put more books in the hands of children, who could benefit significantly from getting ahead on literacy at a young age.
In an effort to ensure that kids are successful when they enter school, Southwest Human Development has paired with businesses around the Valley with the “Grow A Reader” program, where patrons can “pick a flower” and go online to buy a book for a child.
Southwest Human Development, an Arizona non-profit dedicated to early childhood development, said the average child has 13 books at home, but low-income neighborhoods see just one book for every 300 children.
“Unfortunately, lots of kids arrive in kindergarten unprepared and without the early literacy skills they need to be successful,” chief development officer Jake Adams said in a statement. “They tend to be the same kids that start behind and stay behind. We’re trying to change that.”
Businesses where you can get a flower include places like CVS Pharmacy, Jason’s Deli, Jobot Coffee & Diner, Spinato’s Pizzeria and more. Click here for a full list of participating businesses.
It Came in the Mail, by Ben Clanton
“For the thirteenth year, children have chosen the best read aloud picture books in the Minnesota State University Moorhead’s (MSUM) Comstock-Gág Read Aloud Book Awards program.
The 2017 winner of the Wanda Gág Read Aloud Book Award for the preschool to eight-year-old category is It Came in the Mail written and illustrated by Ben Clanton and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. This humorous book reminds us that imagination is a powerful thing, especially when a child’s desire for some mail encourages him to think outside the “mail” box. The Wanda Gág Honor books are The Darkest Dark written by Chris Hadfield and Kate Fillion and illustrated by Terry and Eric Fan, The Night Gardener written and illustrated by Terry and Eric Fan, and What to Do With a Box written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Chris Sheban. The Fan Brothers mark the first time that an illustrator team has won two Wanda Gág Read Aloud Honor awards in the same year.