The “Sidewalk Librarian”
In April 2012, Mr. Richard E. Ashby Jr. President and co-founder of a not for profit organization (LiteracyNation Inc.) set up a library on the street corner in West Philadelphia. Mr. Richie as he is known by the folks in the neighborhood, performs on site-volunteer library services, for the Mantua community in West Philly. He plants new books along with fresh ideas in the hands and minds of children. He gives out new and used books along with encouragement, to adults, assist patrons to file for unemployment, access free Wi-Fi, look up mass transit schedules, ready reference services, conduct story times, conduct a homework help club daily. Some of the children books come from First book Inc. through book Grants. LiteracyNation supplies a bulk of the books, along with Donations from friends.
The sidewalk Librarian has a taken over the corner mostly known for its drug activity. Mr. Richie sits out on the corner 5days week from, during favorable weather. Mr. Richie states “if they can sell poison…… I can give away the antidote”. When he is not on the corner you can find him hanging out with Council woman Janie Blackwell hosting a program at a senior center or at a day care center conducting a story hour. In Brooklyn with the Delta sigma Theta Sorority doing a breakfast and story hour. This sidewalk librarian s side walk has no curbs or boundaries. He is quick to remind you that there is no substitute for your local library! He is only a quick fix in troubled times. He has traveled to Detroit and south to North Carolina “doing his thing” ….. Advocating for libraries, Promoting librarianship, literacy and love.
At LiteracyNation we are embarking on our third year. We provide programs and services for pre-schoolers, young adults and adults. We invite you to register as a citizen of LiteracyNation. We want to use this site as an information highway for programs, services and activities which promote literacy. We host literacy programs in any venue; places of worship, community centers, schools and libraries. We offer public speaking, book discussions conflict resolution theater and author book signings.
Student Ambassador of Literacy
Black enterprise entrepreneur of the week.
14 -Year Old CEO/founder of - The Honeybunch Kids
Author: The Honeybunch Kids
Chental-Song Bembry is a 14 year old, South Brunswick, NJ high school freshman and Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneur of the Week! She has authored and illustrated The Honeybunch Kids, A story which shares funny life lessons that children will definitely identify with. Chantal has been featured in several articles, and has been quoted as saying “If I can write a book that kids can relate to, they’ll be more inspired to read”.
Chental offers literature for children between the ages of 7 and 12. She promotes literacy that has inspired young people to find and claim their self esteem while kindling the love of reading in their hearts. Miss Bembry frequents trade shows, conferences and introduced her work at The Harlem Book Fair. She hones her skills by attending writing camps. As LiteracyNation’s First Student Ambassador of Literacy, Chental will be attending book signings at churches and other venues to promote her book.