8 Across 8 Literacy Campaign
Goal: Donate 800 copies of “The Dreams of Scottie Benjamin” to youth across all 8 wards of Washington D.C.
Darien Harris and Matthew Talley published “The Dreams of Scottie Benjamin” in March 2017. After learning that only 22% of African American children books are published by African Americans, Harris and Talley felt a social responsibility to address this huge gap in diversity amongst African American children’s book authors.
“The Dreams of Scottie Benjamin” is a children’s fantasy novel with an African American lead. As residents of the Washington D.C. area, Harris and Talley are committed to using their children’s book as a tool to enter into communities throughout the D.C. area and engage with as many youth as possible.
In order to do so, Harris and Talley are launching the “8 ACROSS 8” campaign.
African Americans publish 22% of African American children books
75% of students did not meet expectations for English language arts and literacy
81% of Black students in DC did not meet expectations in English language arts and literacy
78% of males did not meet expectations in English language arts and literacy
These statistics are from the DC assessment results on the Partnership Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). They reflect the two primary issues that Harris and Talley are addressing:
1. The diversity gap with African American authors and children’s book
2. The literacy gap with DC Public school students, specifically
Objective 1: Partner with a company or companies interested in sponsoring the “8 ACROSS 8” campaign
Objective 2: Partner with a school, library, hospital or literacy group in all 8 wards in Washington D.C.
Objective 3: Donate 100 copies to each partner in each ward in Washington D.C.