GRAND PRIZE – 2019 Freedom Through Literacy

Grand Prize Award – $3,000

Alvin Irby, “Barbershop Books”
New York, New York

Alvin Irby, a passionate social entrepreneur and former teacher, had a simple idea: why not use the time you get your hair cut to build literacy skills? And with a laser-beam focus,
Barbershop Books was born. Irby’s community-based
program creates inviting, child-friendly reading spaces in
urban barbershops for young black boys.

Originally developed in Harlem, Barbershop Books has
spread to 140 barbershops (and counting!) across more than
30 cities and 20 states, reaching 5,600 boys per month.

We warmly honor Alvin Irby as the Grand Prize winner of the
2019 Freedom Through Literacy Award for his creative
approach to bring culturally-relevant, age-appropriate, and
gender-responsive books to foster literacy skills and a love
for reading amongst young black boys.



Bookmark the permalink.