Redemption is to be set free. When I was a geeky little kid, I found freedom a grocery bag at a time. I’d cram it full of books from the school library and hop on the bus. I’d read all weekend and start over the next week. Books have always been an escape to another place, a spur to thought and a challenge to entrenched patterns. I’ve never been without books.
So, when Geekdad reader Colleen let us know about a GuysLitWire project to provide paperbacks to boys in the juvenile justice system, I had to tell the rest of you about it.
In the very beginning GLW started with a mission to bring great books to the attention of teenage boys.
We are moving today into the second phase of GLW, where we put our money where our mouth is and physically act on getting books into the hands of boys that otherwise have none. Today we start the first two week Guys Lit Wire Book Fair for Boys to help the teens incarcerated in the LA County Juvenile Justice System. They have no books – at all – and they need them; they need them desperately.
In LA County (in 2007) there approximately 2,700 juveniles incarcerated. They are held in three jails: Central Juvenile Hall, Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall and Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall. About 300 of those kids (between the age of 12 and 18) are enrolled in voluntary classes through theInsideOut Writers Program. InsideOut is the GLW partner in the Book Fair for Boys.
The mechanism of the challenge is simple. Check out the wish list at Powells.com using the GuysLitWire@gmail.com address, buy a requested paperback from the list for shipment to the InsideOutWriters Program coordinator (the address is in the GuysLitWire post) and let GuysLitWire know you’re helping set some young minds free.
What we have built at Powells is a list that is, quite simply, all things for all boys. We’ve got science fiction and fantasy, history, biography, graphic novels, short stories, war stories, poetry, animal stories and on and on and on. We have put together what we think is the beginning of a library that will be available for any teens using the classrooms in the LA County system. We have, we hope, given them a larger piece of the world that is waiting for them to return to.
And this is just the beginning.
Their challenge is only 125 books in two weeks and already well underway. Can Geekdad readers rise to the challenge and push the goal higher and faster?