This 11-Year-Old’s Book Club Promotes Literacy While Addressing An Issue That’s All Too Common

“My motivation is I already love to read but it would be awesome, even better, to read with other people."

Not all heroes wear capes and, sometimes, they even come to us as 11-year-old kids.

Sidney Keys III — a young Black kid from St. Louis, Missouri — recently started a reading club for boys called Books N Bros after having an aha moment at a local bookstore. The aim of this group is to help improve the literacy rate for his male peers, show them reading is fun, and celebrate books about the Black experience.



Speaking to local radio program St. Louis on the Air, Sidney said that "every time I go to the library at my school, there aren't many African-American literature books there."

The little guy had a whole new world open up to him when he visited EyeSeeMe — a bookstore that promotes African-American children's literature — where his mom, Winnie Caldwell, filmed him reading last August. The video went viral, garnering more than 64,000 views as of today.

"You get to a point when he is 11 years old and it was so shocking for him to relate to someone on the cover in a positive aspect rather than it be some negative urban story we see a lot," Caldwell told the radio program. "I would like to make sure he sees himself in being whatever he can be."

Now EyeSeeMe is the designated bookstore of Books N Bros and the group has met monthly since September — having read works such as Hidden Figures, The Supadupa Kid, and more. It only costs $20 a month, and those who join get a book, a worksheet that goes along with it, and snacks at each meeting. Plus they have a mentorship program, too.

"My motivation is I already love to read, but it would be awesome, even better, to read with other people," Sidney said during the radio interview. "I want to keep doing it because I don't know what will make me stop reading because I love to read."

(H/T: The Huffington Post)

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