Nearly 350 participants joined the Children’s March for Literacy on Jan. 19 with a goal to collect 5,000 books and raise $30,000 to build and stock 72 Free Little Libraries across Atlanta.
The march was organized by The Empowered Readers Literacy Project, a non-profit envisioned by a 5-year-old little girl who set out to tackle illiteracy by helping families build strong reading rituals and getting kids excited about reading.
“This march was important because this was a vision that came from the heart of a child and was a march that was led by children,” said Khalil Thompson, parent GO Team member at Parkside Elementary. “The community attached to the vision, galvanized and united to advocate for a brighter future for our youth.”
Led by the Atlanta Drum Academy, Atlanta Public Schools students from Parkside Elementary, BAMO Academy, Dunbar Elementary, Burgess Peterson Elementary, Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, Whitefoord Early Learning Academy, and Wesley International Academy marched, collected 3,100 books and raised $7,000 towards a goal of $30,000.
Empowered Readers Literacy Project aims to plant 72 Free Little Libraries in 24 underserved communities in Atlanta. Thus far, the non-profit has installed three Free Little Libraries at the Georgia Hill Neighborhood Center. The next six will be planted in February in Vine City, and three are planned for Ashview Heights.
“While the physical march has passed, the movement continues,” Thompson said. “We will continue to press forward on our mission to get children excited about reading while empowering them to reclaim their own stories as we plant more Little Free Libraries stocked full of awesome diverse books in underserved communities across the city of Atlanta.”
Learn more about the Empowered Readers Literacy Project, go to www.empoweredreaders.org