On Saturday, July 21 at 10:30 a.m., the Harlem Book Fair and Total Equity Now will walk, books in hand, with residents of East, Central, and West Harlem for the first annual “Literacy Across Harlem” march, book donation/swap, and community-wide celebration of reading, writing, and the exchange of powerful ideas.
Please find attached the “Literacy Across Harlem” flyer/poster and take a moment to forward it, post it to your personal or organizational Facebook page or Twitter account, and/or distribute it to your network by whatever means suit the community members in your network. It takes a village to educate, energize, and mobilize a village!
“Literacy Across Harlem” kicks off at 10:30 a.m. with community members rallying in three locations across 135th Street, ultimately converging at the Harlem Book Fair main stage for a book donation/swap and community-wide celebration and renewal of Harlem’s legacy as world-renowned center of literacy. Our goal is to draw hundreds of Harlemites–children, elders, and everyone in between–to 135th Street to celebrate our collective heritage as readers, writers, thinkers, and doers, and to stack hundreds of new and gently-used donated books on the Harlem Book Fair main stage. The books will be distributed to learners in the Harlem YMCA’s Literacy Zone program and to other literacy programs throughout our community. The more marchers and the more books they bring, the more Harlem youth and adults who will be empowered with the gift of literacy, a gift that will last a lifetime and ultimately strengthen our community.
The “Literacy Across Harlem” march will serve as the start to a full day of literacy programming on West 135th Street and in the Countee Cullen Library presented by the Harlem Book Fair’s Young Readers Pavilion. Both children and adults will be able to sign up for, or renew, a library card at the Countee Cullen library, and literacy service providers will be on hand to share information about their ongoing and upcoming programs. Book give-aways will be held throughout the day.
Key community partners include the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Harlem YMCA Literacy Zone program, the Countee Cullen Library, and other Harlem-based public libraries across the village (each of which is featured in the attached flyer/poster image). Harlem’s family-friendly independent bookstores, Sister’s Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center, La Casa Azul Bookstore, and Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe, have also signed on to support and promote this effort to celebrate (and engage more Harlemites in) literacy.