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10:57 AM / Sunday June 16, 2019

18 May 2019

Making literacy cool, giving youth in shelters access to books

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May 18, 2019 Category: Local Posted by:

Make Literacy Dope Author’s Brunch

By Monica Peters

Not too much is heard about advocacy for literacy and access to books for youth living in homeless shelters.  However, the Make Literacy Dope Author’s Brunch is changing that.

On Sunday, May 19, at the Wyncote House, Philadelphia authors and taste makers will come together to shed light on this issue.  The family-friendly event, which features a panel discussion will also honor local author LaVon Howard.

“Portion of proceeds will support Make Literacy Dope in partnership with Teenagers in Charge,” said author Judith Dumorney-McDaniel, organizer of the event.

“It’s an initiative to raise awareness on literacy and to help youth shelters start a library,” noting her passion was sparked by working with youth in homeless shelters.

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“The young people that are there need a library. They enjoy books.”

There is another reason this event is important to her. She pointed out that youth need to get back to physical books instead of e-books.

“Children need books they can feel touch and read, they live in such a digital world,” Dumorney-McDaniel noting that youth sometimes forget how to write their own name in pen because everything is electronic.

“Bring that back so children can have an opportunity to read,” she continued.

The brunch will include an authors panel featuring Ameenah Diggins, Obiama Martin, Ambition the Poet and Michelle D. Grier who will discuss their journey as authors and how they they turned their passion into a profit. Vendors will also be in attendance. The brunch will be catered by former Four Seasons chef, executive chef Larry Washington from Chef Larry Creations.

One of the reasons Dumorney-McDaniel selected to honor three-time author Lavon Howard was his dedication to helping other authors succeed.

“When I became an author, he invited me to his Literacy Cafe. He was inviting author of all genres, to highlight their books particularly when their books were just released.”

“Authors would come together to share their journey on writing and why they wrote it.  If it wasn’t for him, I would not have been able to meet other amazing authors like myself. It was only fitting for me to pay homage to him,” she says of Howard who has highlighted over 100 authors.

Howard is also the founder of Path to Greatness, a non-profit that offers seminars to elementary, middle and high school students with topics ranging from character development, financial literacy, goal setting, mental heath and healthy relationships.

“What I found was that when you give young people a reason to want to read, they are going to get excited to read,” said Dumorney-McDaniel.

The Make Literacy Dope Author’s Brunch takes place Sunday May 19, noon to 3:30 p.m. at the Wyncote House, 25 Washington Lane,Wyncote, PA.  Tickets are $30-$50 and must be purchased in advance at eventbrite.com/e/make-literacy-dope-authors-brunch-tickets-60354763723

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