NEW YORK, June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Award-winning entrepreneur and nationally recognized literacy advocate Alvin Irby will launch a month-long celebration of black male readers on Sunday, June 19, 2016, which is both Father's Day and Juneteenth, an annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. The #BrothasRead campaign aims to generate 10,000 photos of Black men and boys reading.
The Good People Fund, an organization that provides financial support to small community-based efforts, has pledged $1 for every unique photo generated during the campaign, up to $8,000. The money will support Barbershop Books, a community-based literacy program created by Alvin Irby, which places child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops nationwide. This month, Barbershop Books received a $10,000 donation from the New York Yankees and was featured on The Today Show.
Irby says, "Changing the narrative about Black males and reading can help close the achievement gap. The #BrothasRead campaign celebrates Black male readers. By generating thousands of photos of Black male readers, Barbershop Books hopes to inspire Black boys to say, 'I'm a reader.' When children identify as readers, they read for fun. When children read for fun, they become proficient readers."
A 25-second campaign video on YouTube shows a 4-year-old boy encouraging viewers to share reading selfies using the hashtag #BrothasRead: https://youtu.be/Plycb5wMwos. The campaign also has a #BrothasRead gif: http://gph.is/1t8Qnla
A recent national study by the U.S. Department of Education revealed students who read for fun, just once or twice a month, have significantly higher reading scores than students who never or hardly ever read for fun.
According to the U.S. Department of Education more than 80% of Black male fourth graders are not proficient readers. The Cooperative Children's Book Center found that in 2014 less than 5% of children's books published in the United States were about Black people.
Barbershop Books is the debut program of Reading Holiday Project, Inc. a 501c3 literacy nonprofit based in New York City that works to close the reading achievement gap for Black boys.
Twitter and Instagram: @BarbershopBooks
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SOURCE Reading Holiday Project, Inc. (Barbershop Books)