Judith’s Reading Room’s Alvin Irby CNN Heroes Finalist


CONTACT: Cathy Leiber

Judith’s Reading Room ’s Alvin Irby CNN Heroes Finalist

Judith’s Reading Room recognized Irby as its 2019 Grand Prize Winner

December 10, 2023 —American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY — During tonight’s all-star tribute, CNN announced the top ten winners of its 2023 CNN Heroes competition.  Judith’s Reading Room is thrilled to acknowledge Alvin Irby, a Judith’s Reading Room 2019 Grand Prize winner.

Judith’s Reading Room is overjoyed to congratulate Alvin Irby, founder of Barbershop Books, for being recognized as a 2023 top ten CNN hero.  Six years ago,  Judith’s Reading Room highlighted Irby as its 2019 ‘Freedom Through Literacy’ Grand Prize winner for his creative approach to bring culturally-relevant, age-appropriate and gender-responsive books to foster literacy skills and a love of reading amongst young black boys.  We are thrilled that his work continues to resonate with people around the world.

CNN recognized his community-based program, Barbershop Books that creates inviting child-friendly reading spaces in over 250 urban barbershops for young black boys.

Annually, Judith’s Reading Room seeks champions of literacy like Alvin Irby — teachers, authors, librarians, educators, leaders of non-profit literacy organizations — anyone who instills in others a love of reading — to apply for the $5,000 award.  Apply now for the 2024 ‘Freedom Through Literacy Award,’ at www.judithsreadingroom.org. Deadline for applications is February 5, 2024.

Judith’s Reading Room, a 501 (c) 3 global literacy organization was founded in 2010.  Its mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy.  It has achieved that mission by dedicating 105 libraries (and counting!) in 23 countries with over 132,000 books donated with a cover price value of $1.4 million.

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