Shifting the Culture of Reading in a School: Project LIT Bronx

Getting Better Together

Editor’s Note: In this Tch DIY video series, Tch Laureate Geneviève DeBose Akinnagbe shares the process of creating and sustaining a youth-led community book club at the Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists (BSSWA) in New York City. The videos in this series are created with the support of Geneviève’s students.


Looking to shift the culture of reading in your school? Try starting a youth-led book club!

Project LIT Bronx is a youth-led community book club in the south Bronx. It was created in September of 2017 and is part of the national Project LIT Community, a growing network of dedicated teachers and students who work together to increase access to diverse books, eliminate book deserts, and spread a love of reading in our schools and communities.

The following video will give you an overview of who we are, what we do, and how we get support from the community to make it all happen. Whether we’re getting book donations through DonorsChoose.org or creating beautiful flyers on Canva.com, it’s all in an effort to increase our students’ love of reading and get them talking about texts in a meaningful way at a #ProjectLITBookClub.

This is the first video in our series. Our next video will focus on what it takes to run a book club and how to do it. If you have questions or comments about Project LIT Bronx, please share them in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

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Geneviève Debose Akinnagbe is an educator, artist, and activist who has taught middle school for over a decade. She is a proud National Board Certified Teacher and U.S. Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellow. Geneviève strongly believes that education is a tool for social justice and empowerment, and that learning experiences for children should be culturally relevant, student-centered, and interactive. She started her teaching career as a 1999 Teach for America corps member and currently serves as a commissioner on the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. Geneviève is a seventh grade English Language Arts teacher at Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists in New York City. Connect with Geneviève on Twitter: @GenevieveDeBose.

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