West Harlem #RockThoseReads Community Service Project

March 11, 2014
total equity logo On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., on the southeast corner of 125th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, Total Equity Now (TEN) will once again engage an intergenerational team of volunteers in promoting reading as a key component of who we are and what we do here in Harlem.

For 90 minutes we will:

  • hand out Literacy Across Harlem Day flyers; 
  • ask passersby about their reading habits;
  • tell folks why we love reading and why it’s so important; and
  • encourage others to carry their “reads” outside of their bags!


On September 1, 2012, Total Equity Now launched the Literacy Across Harlem Day movement. Every Literacy Across Harlem Day (the first day of each month), TEN and our community partners encourage all Harlemites (and folks who work, study, and visit here) to “#RockThoseReads,” to carry reading materials publicly, conspicuously, and proudly–everywhere they go.

On February 1, 2014, a community-minded group of middle-school students and parents from PS/MS 57 in East Harlem joined TEN and partners for a #RockThoseReads “street team” project at 110th Street and 3rd Avenue in El Barrio. That effort was so successful and empowering that we decided to replicate it in a different part of Harlem each Literacy Across Harlem Day.

On March 1, 2014, we took the #RockThoseReads message to 135th Street & Malcolm X Boulevard in Central Harlem, just outside the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which joined forces with the Studio Museum of Harlem that day to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the birth of Ralph Ellison.

Up next, 125th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in West Harlem!

Help Promote Reading in Harlem

If you’re affiliated with a school, youth-development organization, civic group, small business, or other entity and would like to join us for this fun, rewarding community-service project, please email info@totalequitynowharlem.org by March 18th.

Other Ways to #RockThoseReads on Tuesday, April 1st

Tweet or Instagram a photo of your “read” of the day to @TotalEquityNow with the “#RockThoseReads” tag.

Visit one of our Literacy Across Harlem Day partners–the community-minded, literacy-loving establishments listed below–and “swap those reads” (leave a gently used book and take one that another Harlemite dropped off).

Central Harlem

*Astor Row Cafe (404 Lenox Ave. at 130th)

East Harlem

*La Casa Azul Bookstore (143 E. 103rd St. btwn Park and Lexington)

*East Harlem Cafe (1651 Lexington Ave. at 104th)

West Harlem

*Sister’s Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center (1942 Amsterdam Ave. at 156th)

*Cafe One (1619 Amsterdam Ave. at 140th)

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