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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.

MagLiteracy.org 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.

  • Santa Barbara School of Squash (SBSOS)

    501(c)(3) charity
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Serves: Students from 4th to 12th grade
    Needs: Magazines for 36 students year round
    Magazines Requested: Any magazines about nature, sports, education, travel, or wildlife

  • 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.

  • Hale Empowerment and Revitalization Org (HERO)

    501(c)(3) charity
    Greensboro, AL
    Serving the following number of monthly readers by age:
    Young (5 – 8yrs): 50
    Youth (9-13yrs): 20
    Teens (13-19yrs): 50
    Parents (20-45yrs): 50
    Grandparents (45yrs +): 50
    Magazines Requested: Education or travel magazines

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