Youth for Literacy

What is the injustice we are solving?
Over 50% of our area's third graders are not proficient at reading. This has lead to an increase in gang violence and high school drop-out rates. To increase peace, we need to attack the root causes. In my area, illiteracy is a major contributing factor. By providing free books to others, we can tackle the problem early. We will show them the joy of reading and open up their options for the future.
Our Compassionate Solution
To solve this injustice of
we will address
easy access to books
creating free libraries within community areas
Our Plan
Our Project Goals
Find one community location with at least 1000 people a year using it, and get permission to install a library.
Research stores and purchase at least two bookcases to install in a public location.
Gather at least 50 books for the location through donations and store purchases that cover adults, teens, and children.
Install the bookcase with the books at the location and place signage to increase traffic.
We will increase my / our compassion by...
Identifying local public locations that attract a wide audience of ages that might benefit from free books. This will help us become aware of hidden populations of people that need reading assistance. By speaking with them, we can determine the best way to provide them with resources to encourage reading.
How will you show courage?
We will show courage by approaching the management of local industries and asking them to use some of their space for this public service.
How will you collaborate with others?
We will reach out to the community to ask for used books to include in the public book share program. We will also collaborate with local teachers and libraries to determine the best books to include.
How will you know you are moving in the right direction?
If we have located a public location and begun the steps to get approval for bookcase placement, we are heading down the right path. In addition, if we reach out to the community and are able to receive at least 100 books to supply to the bookcases, this will indicate there is enough public support.
Create a list of key steps you will take
Talk with local teachers, librarians, and community leaders to determine the need for a book share program.
Research public locations with easy access where people of all ages that need the books gather. There also should not be other access to free books nearby, like a library or school.
Choose the locations where a book share system would best benefit the population and approach the management of these locations for approval of a book share program. Determine the approval steps involved, which may include pictures of the bookcases/books.
Conduct a book drive in the community to gather at least 100 books for all age groups. This will include announcing it and putting out collection bins.
Research and select bookcases that are sturdy and easy to access. Purchase or solicit a donation.
Place books in the bookcases (based upon teacher and librarian feedback) and include labels with age groups of the books, instructions for borrowing, and a title.
Bring the bookcase and books to the location.
Publicize the book share program in local press and newsletters to get people to use it.
This project doesn't have any updates to show.
Kelsey T.

March 09, 2018

Congratulations! Your project has been selected to receive a Peace First Challenge mini-grant. We will be in touch soon with details about this payment.

The mini-grant process is also a space for you to get feedback on your peacemaking project. We hope you will use this feedback to further strengthen your project. Please see the feedback on your mini-grant below.

This is a great project -- I love that you are specific about finding a public space that people actually use and making sure that you are putting this resource in an area where the people who really need it can access it. I think your compassion and collaboration plans are particularly strong and really appreciate that you are planning to speak to the people who need this resource to find the best ways to provide them with the resources. I think continuing to engage with them to find out ways to improve the libraries (what books they want there, etc.) will be invaluable as you go forward. Your project plan is strong very well organized -- I especially appreciate the specificity of your goals and steps you will take to get there, as well as the ways you'll know you are moving in the right direction as you implement the plan.

Things to Consider:
I'd echo Raul's comment -- I'd love to just hear a bit more about the injustice itself and your insight. Although a lack of access to to books is certainly a root cause of illiteracy -- I'm curious what you think the root cause beneath that first root cause is -- why do some communities not have access to books? How can your project address even deeper root causes and the structures that perpetuate that -- while providing access to books? It would be great if you could expand on your thinking so that everyone can understand what you've learned through your work, too!

Congratulations and best of luck with your project!
RaulPF C.

March 09, 2018

Hi Ryan!

Thanks for updating your project with this work you are focusing on over the next few months.

As you know, as part of the Peace First project-making process, we give formal feedback on your compassionate insight. Once your insight is all set, then you can move forward with your mini-grant application if you need funds to help move your idea into action!

I want to give you feedback on your insight:
To solve this injustice of

we will address
easy access to books
creating free libraries within community areas"

Since I am familiar with your project, it is really easy for me to understand your insight. I was wondering if you would be able to add a little bit more detail to it so that other people can also understand better the insight you are using to frame your work. In particular, I was hoping for you to be able to expand on your injustice to better understand the angle you are using as well as your understanding of the root cause.

I am looking forward to seeing some updates as you implement this project.


Adrian B.

March 07, 2018

Hi Ryan! Thanks so much for posting this project. A member of our team will post insight feedback in more detail in a few days, but I wanted to let you know that we love this idea, and are excited to hear more about your thoughts. One question I have for you is what is the connection between literacy rates and gang violence? Are you sure that one causes the other? Or do they both exist in the same situations sometimes, but there is a different cause of both? Happy to think through this more with you, and looking forward to talking more!