Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and his wife Ayesha recently announced plans to create 150 “Little Town Libraries” around Oakland to encourage neighborhood book sharing and childhood literacy.
The initiative is a partnership between Eat. Learn. Play., a nonprofit founded by Stephen and Ayesha Curry, and Little Free Library, a network of nearly 150,000 tiny libraries in front yards of homes and businesses around the globe for people to share books, according to organizers.
The mini libraries will be constructed and maintained in under-resourced parts of Oakland, such as East and West Oakland, Fruitvale and Chinatown, with more than 50,000 free books also being distributed as part of the program.
The program will be managed with the help of three local nonprofits — the Oakland Literacy Coalition, the Black Cultural Zone, and the Oakland Public Library. Each of the three will oversee 50 of the mini libraries funded by initial two-year grants, with the first Little Town Libraries installation planned this spring at Franklin Elementary School, according to organizers.
“We want to encourage kids to read by making it accessible, fun and inspirational,” the Currys said in a statement. “We hope that these free, book-sharing libraries will help plant the seeds needed to continue growing a culture of literacy for the next generation in Oakland.”
The program is the latest by the Curry family and their nonprofit to encourage child literacy in Oakland. Last September, Eat. Learn. Play. launched a bus to provide nutritious meals, groceries, books and more to children in the city. The nonprofit operates the bus with the Alameda County Community Food Bank, going on a regular route in the city and bringing it to special events.