For many children, reading education has been disrupted due to the pandemic, and Black and brown students are disproportionately affected. That’s one reason why DL Mullen, owner of Chicago’s very own Semicolon Bookstore, is starting a new national holiday: National Black Literacy Day. “It’s during Black History Month, on Frederick Douglass’ birthday, and we also wanted it to coincide with Valentine’s Day so that, while people were in a loving mood, they’d hopefully direct some of that love toward underprivileged communities,” Mullen explained.
You can join the celebration on February 14 by supporting literacy programs in your community. Direct resources to an organization in the Chicago Literacy Alliance, volunteer at your local YMCA’s literacy or mentorship program, or donate to Semicolon’s #ClearTheShelves initiative. And make sure to spend some time reading with a child in your life to help them discover the joys of books.