learn / 2020

Seeding Book Deserts™ One Book, One Child & One Community Book Box

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by The Literacy Club

1. Custom design handcrafted 20 (10 indoor & 10 outdoor), along with LA2050 Be a Book Hero promotion Community Book Boxes, along with 250 Pre K thru High School books throughout Los Angeles County’s communities deemed to be “Book Deserts” 2. 40,000 books for book distributions through LAUSD schools or community organizations in neighborhoods. 3. Woodwork machinery - The necessary woodworking machinery needed to simplify the process of building the book boxes.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

We are responding to the ongoing need of getting books to children and families in the LA County communities, who are not able to or do not have access to books within a reasonable distance from their home. LA County’s rate of illiteracy is one of the highest in the nation, and that is directly linked to lack of literacy resources. With the lack of libraries or literacy resources, children to read or imagine what could be when they don’t have access to books from an early age directly has a direct impact on a child’s ability to succeed in life, both in the short term and throughout their lifetime. “Both physical and psychological proximity to books mattern when it comes to children’s literacy skills. Children need access to books in their neighborhoods, as well as adults who create an environment that inspires reading.”

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

The Literacy Club’s sole purpose is getting books into the hands of children, doing whatever it takes, and at no charge. For instance over the last 2 weeks (March 15- April 3, 2020,) we have donated over 10,000 books to children throughout the nation, however and primarily in Southern California. Each child receives on average 7-10 books for their age group, and we are able to donate books for every age level.

The Literacy Club has developed a successful grassroots infrastructure through which we are able to partner with several community organizations in Los Angeles County. As of today, we have built and delivered 140 custom designed Book Boxes, and are proud to have designed a Book Box for the LA2050 grant.

We are proud to have partnered with LAPD, USC Public Safety, Kiwanis International and other community organizations to assist us in getting books into the community and installing our book boxes into the communities most in need.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

The physical impact that our Book Boxes have been shown to have in all of the various communities that we’ve had the privilege of working with are countless. However, for this proposal specifically, the physical impact is bringing the community together. Neighborhoods gather and take pride in their Book Boxes, creating a sense of engagement between leaders and community members. The Boxes are designed to withstand the elements and to start conversations.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

We measure success by the impact of the children in these communities having access to books and while we cannot always follow the book and the child, we do get direct feedback from the organizations and community where the boxes and books are located. Additionally, we measure success on the impact the book box has to a community like the one we did in University Gardens in South LA. There we installed two boxes and within 30 days they had the first neighborhood watch meeting in this housing project and 5 years later it is still happening.

Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Arts education
  • Student proficiency in English & Language Arts
  • Early education enrollment

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the best place to CONNECT

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Host public events or gatherings
  • Communications support
  • Office space for meetings, events, or for staff
  • Capacity, including staff
  • Strategy assistance and implementation
  • woodshop and storage rent