Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Libraries in the Community

The singular mission of Volume & Light is to amplify and spotlight issues and innovations that impact Nashville families. Take a stroll through my blog-ventory and you’ll see sharp-elbowed titles about literacy, unearned privilege, charters schools, and Project LIT (Libraries in the) Community.

Yes, Project LIT Community (PLC) is assigned its very own category and I don’t care.

So, of course, when I plan a family discussion focused on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline through literacy, of course, Dr. Jarred Amato, PLC’s founder is asked to be one of the panelists. Because, of course.

I could LITerally spend days writing about the value PLC adds to our school district, city, and nation. Inspired by an article on book deserts, in 2017, English teacher Dr. Amato and a group of his students set out to populate the communities around his school with tiny libraries to get books in students hands — by every means necessary. So, the group secured dozens of old newspaper machines, applied paint, filled with donated books and planted them in hyper-accessible locations. Next, PLC invited the community into their school for a monthly book club featuring culturally-affirming YA books that captured students’ interest and that of the adults participating in the book discussions.

Today, PLC has a presence in every state in the nation and Ghana!

Dr. Amato is the passionate, unapologetic student-focused educator every parent wants for their child and the boots-to-the-ground visionary every community needs in a leader.

Spend some real time talking with students and you’ll come to this conclusion: Every child deserves time to read books of their choice every day. #ProjectLITBookClub

And another thing…

Just yesterday, PLC was awarded $25,000 to expand its footprint in Nashville’s schools!

“Thanks to First Book, we have the opportunity to support 50 Project LIT schools here in Nashville as we continue to build inclusive classroom libraries, host school and community-wide book clubs, and provide students with the authentic literacy experiences they deserve.” Dr. Amato

More hero stuff.


Join us Tuesday, October 29th, at 6 p.m. for a powerful discussion with the goal of equipping students, families, and community with tools to flip the script on the sad state of literacy in Nashville. You are also invited to dine with us at 5:30 p.m.

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