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Mon Nov 27, 2017, 11:15 AM

Books Are Playing a Role in Elevating and Transforming Chicago Communities

This has me thinking about literacy programs in my area and what I can do to help:

Books Are Playing a Role in Elevating and Transforming Chicago Communities
- billmoyers.com
This post originally appeared at AlterNet.

Snuggled under scaffolding in Chicago’s West Loop is an inconspicuous entranceway that leads to Open Books, a bookstore with over 54,000 used books on its shelves. Nearly all of the books for sale are donated, as are the 55,000 for sale online and the 20,000 more at its Pilsen location. This Thanksgiving will be the eighth anniversary of the first store opening, in Chicago’s River North.

Here in the West Loop, Open Books is the anchor store for the space above it, the Literacenter, a co-working space of 123 Chicago-area literacy programs and organizations that range from theater and poetry to childhood homelessness support and books for prisoners.

Tim O’Brien, Open Books executive director — and a former Open Books volunteer — says they process about 650,000 books a year. The book granting team hand-selects books to give to students, classrooms and homes, with a goal of capturing early readers with age- and interest-appropriate stories. “If the student sees themselves in a character, if they identify with the story, they’ll want to read more,” says O’Brien.

This, in turn, leads to community building. For example, cookbooks, especially for baking, are popular among young people because they foster engagement with a parent or grandparent; it gives the family something to read — and do — together.

The bookstore also supports multiple Open Books literacy programs, including creative writing workshops and a publishing academy.

More at link: http://billmoyers.com/story/open-books-transforming-chicago-communities/

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Reply Books Are Playing a Role in Elevating and Transforming Chicago Communities (Original post)
klook Nov 2017 OP
Stuart G Nov 2017 #1
klook Nov 2017 #2

Response to klook (Original post)

Tue Nov 28, 2017, 08:49 PM

1. Thank YOu for posting.....Wonderful !!!!

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 29, 2017, 08:41 AM

2. You're welcome!

I like the idea of the Literacenter, too -- a hub for organizations to share resources and create collaborative projects. Very cool.

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