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Inventing a literacy pipeline into the hands, homes, and hearts of eager readers

Like the light of the sun, it beautifies all things on which it shines, and is no less welcome in the palace than in the humblest home.

— Lewis Latimer

Just down the road from the laboratory where Thomas Edison invented the light bulb that was perfected by serial inventor Lewis Latimer, Jacque Howard has invented street corner libraries to light up imaginations.

Any human endeavor or start-up designed to deliver a product or service to people, whether it’s lighting, telephone, cable, or internet, diapers or detergent, or precious books, magazines, and comics for literacy, faces “the last mile” problem – how to get the goods across the final leg of their journey into waiting hands and homes. It’s the most complex and resource intensive link in the supply chain – especially for reaching underserved neighborhoods.

Library Boxes of Trenton is an ingenious community collaboration where artists, businesses, and residents adopt and deploy abandoned newspaper boxes repurposed as sidewalk libraries in neighborhoods where they are needed most.

Reading is Fundamental says two-thirds of America’s most economically stressed families (12 million+) have no books at home – zero. Research shows that infants from families without ready access to reading materials hear 30 million fewer words when their brains are developing for life. Children unable to read well are unable to learn any school subject. Adults unable to read were once children who didn’t learn how. is proud of its long-time partnership with Library Boxes of Trenton, supplying magazines and comics for all ages and interests. Like a lightbulb powered by electricity, our two ideas work together, co-generating enormous literacy power into hands, homes and hearts.

  • Senior Star Adult Medical Daycare

    Mentoring, Job Training, and Education
    100 people age 50 and older and 50 people age 21-40
    Ewing, NJ, USA
    Needs: 180 Magazines
    Magazines Requested: culinary skills magazines (30), home magazines (30), computer magazines (30), learning magazines (30), and entertainment magazines (50)

  • Nunavut Inuit Families

    Education Program
    1,500 children and adults
    Nunavut Territory, Canada
    Needs: 250 magazines and comics
    National Geographic Little Kids, National Geographic Readers Digest, Sports Illustrated, education and fishing magazines, and comics.

  • Maryland Correctional Institution–Jessup (MCIJ)

    School or Library
    Jessup, Maryland
    Serving male adults 18-60 years of age. From pre-literacy to varying reading levels.
    Needs magazines for 30 students monthly
    Magazines Requested: Students enjoy nonfiction magazines with lots of pictures and short articles–this would include magazines about animals, geography, science, food, clothing, anything relevant to today’s world. National Geographic for Kids would be wonderful.

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