“Supporting independent bookstores is at the heart of the mission of book publishing. Reaching local communities is central to everything we do at Penguin Random House. We are thrilled to congratulate Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Bookstore on receiving this inaugural award and look forward to seeing the success of their initiative,” said Jaci Updike, President of Sales at Penguin Random House.
Pam French, Binc Executive Director said, “This unique collaboration with Penguin Random House will give The Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Bookstore funds to build and grow their program working with students in Cincinnati Public Schools. We are grateful for this opportunity to work with Penguin Random House on Indies with Impact, because of how the prize honors, recognizes and supports the vital role bookstores play in their communities.”
On learning their program had been chosen, Amanda Kranias, Director of the Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Bookstore told Binc, “[This] grant will accelerate the implementation of our Near-Peer mentoring program to a larger group of students, building relationships that boost reading confidence and leadership skills.”
The Near-Peer Mentoring program is a partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools, through which middle-school-aged mentors provide basic reading instruction and skill development to younger readers. The Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Bookstore will supply books to participating students in three to four public elementary and middle schools, and as the program grows, other logistical support to students from public schools across Cincinnati. By creating a project that brings together experts to build literacy programming and providing the underserved readers with the materials needed to participate in the program, the Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Bookstore is setting young readers up for success.