The program seeks to serve underrepresented communities and turn boys into bookworms.
Reading engagement and literacy rates are still an issue in some predominantly Black communities, where young boys often struggle to reach the reading comprehension levels of their peers. A new video from 60 Second Docs, introduces viewers to Alvin Irby, the founder of Barbershop Books, a program from Harlem’s Reading Holiday Project, Inc.
“So many young Black boys really don’t identify as readers,” Irby said. “And, if you’re not reading, your power is limited."
Launched at New York City’s Denny Moe’s Superstar Barber Shop, the program creates miniature libraries in barbershops and involves male role model’s in the early reading experiences of young boys. The movement aims to help young boys fall in love with reading.
“We want them to say three words,” Irby added, “'I’m a reader.'"