With low reading engagement and literacy rates still a problem in black communities, Barbershop Books, the debut program from Harlem’s Reading Holiday Project, Inc., is Alvin Irby’s attempt to even the playing field. Though the project began in NYC, its founder Irby, who won the 2017 Innovations in Reading Prize, is taking it to a national level. By creating child-friendly reading spaces like miniature libraries in barbershops, involving male role models in boys' early reading experiences, and connecting literacy to a community male-centered space, it’s a movement to help young boys of color love reading -- and be proud of it.
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