Did you know that two thirds of children of color that are not reading on grade level by the fourth grade will fall victim to the criminal justice system. Reading is the common thread that runs through every subject area and career field. To create a child that is college or career ready we must begin with the basics. The mission of “I See Me, Inc.” is to dismantle the “School-to-Prison Pipeline” by increasing the literacy rates in children of color by engaging them in literature that reflects their culture and mirrors their image. We plan to break the cycle through our events, programs and books that mirror children of color’s culture, experience and image.
I See Me, Inc. Currently has 5 programs to meet our mission:
*Real Men Read brings men from throughout the community into schools to read to male students in a one-day event. It promotes a positive educational image to students and allows them to engage with successful male role models through books and reading
*Just Us Girls uses literature to stimulate and engage important conversations among young women of color. The literature and activities are connected in a way that allow these young women to view themselves as empowered, confident and valued.
*The I See Me Book Drive promotes the vital connection between the proverbial “village” and its students through the donation of books featuring characters reflecting the culture of students of color. Knowing how to read makes people safer, healthier and more self-sufficient.
*1st Library ensures every child in need has books in their home by helping them create their first home library. Using books donated to the “I See Me Book Drive”, the program builds early readers into lifelong learners—and encourages other family members to read as well.
*Through partnership with local licensed barbers, “I See Me, Inc.” offer students a chance to EARN free haircuts by simply reading. “Crown Me”, is an effort to motivate as well as attach a masculine sense of reading.
Funded by Birmingham, AL (March 2019)