ATLANTA – A former Atlanta public school educator hopes to turn the page on children’s illiteracy.
Alongside her daughter, she is mobilized to open a bookstore to help underprivileged children.
She said she feared that many young people would remain in a “vicious cycle” without further community involvement.
Corendis Hardy said they are committed to “saving” lives through literacy. Currently, Hardy and his daughter are hosting community book fairs at the Mall West End.
She said now is the time to create a place of their own so that they can provide more resources to young people who might not otherwise get them.
“I am deeply concerned about disadvantaged and at-risk children,” Hardy explained.
As an educator for over 30 years, Hardy has seen with his own eyes just how damaging illiteracy can be for our young people.
“When they get to school they’re always frustrated there, they’re already late and it’s this vicious cycle where they never really get caught up,” she said.
Hardy and his daughter spend several days a week selling books, with the minorities in the foreground, inside the mall.
Whenever possible, they try to make children and adults literate, but there is not much they can do in this space.
“That’s why we need our store so that we have a place where we can offer private lessons and story time. It’s not just about selling books,” she explained. .
Now, the mission of the mother-daughter duo is to open their own inviting space which they believe will empower them in their community through various programs such as enrichment classes and educational workshops.
“When parents are not good readers, they cannot teach their children to read. We try to get literature that they can maybe read. We offer our services to help them if they have it. need help, we educate them about it, ”she said.
They want to open the store southwest or northwest of Atlanta.
Hardy’s focus is specifically geared towards children who live in socio-economically disadvantaged communities.
“I realized that to get them engaged, they need to see each other. They need to have stories about themselves and that’s why I’m very selective about the books I choose,” he said. she declared.
It is a variety that some parents say is lacking elsewhere.
“You go to some bookstores, they don’t have a lot of ethnicities or even – because I’m multiracial, you don’t see a lot of our stuff,” Keonna Weeks, who paused to pick out books for her little one -son said.
Hardy said the bookstore will also increase accessibility to books by authors and publishers who are often overlooked by mainstream literary organizations.
To learn more about Hardy’s efforts, click here.
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