DETROIT – May 19, 2023 – To promote youth and adult literacy, Gale, part of Cengage Group, has teamed up with Brilliant Detroit and Little Free Library to build and install 21 Little Free Libraries in high-need neighborhoods across Detroit. Each little library is stocked with a variety of books – donated by Gale and their employees – for children and adults. Though the partnership is aimed at improving the city's literacy rates, there’s a concentrated focus on inspiring a lifelong love of reading by providing young readers with access to youth large print books. Download the post-event press kit (b-roll, photos) here.
Research shows that large print text can improve reading confidence and skill level in students. A recent study conducted by Project Tomorrow®, an education nonprofit, indicates that students in grades 3-12 who read large print books developed stronger reading skills, felt more comfortable reading and adopted new, positive reading mindsets.
Large print books have a larger font size, increased spacing, fewer words and lines per page, and clearer contrast between text and the background of the paper than standard books. This formatting makes visualization easier, reduces eyestrain and increases readability.
“Partnering with Brilliant Detroit and Little Free Library is about making books accessible to build stronger communities and create a more equitable society that loves to read,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager at Gale. “We believe in the power and joy of learning and large print books are a proven literacy intervention resource that can be life changing for developing readers. By making reading easier and less frustrating, these books are changing the mindsets young learners have about their own reading abilities. So, these Little Free Libraries we built are a great opportunity for us to share the books with Detroit youth in hopes of turning reluctant readers into lifelong readers.”
The large print books donated by Thorndike Press include diverse, award-winning, and bestselling, titles like: Genesis Begins Again, Lu, Patina, Sunny, Merci Suárez Changes Gears, Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry, See You in the Cosmos, The Night Diary, The House on Mango Street and Small Spaces.
“We are excited to work with Gale to bring these Little Free Libraries to our Detroit neighborhoods,” said Cindy Eggleton, co-founder and CEO of Brilliant Detroit. “We believe that access to books is critical to building a strong foundation for literacy and education. These Little Free Libraries will help make that a reality for families in our communities.”
Some of the Detroit neighborhoods where the 21 Little Free Libraries will be placed and installed include: Banglatown, Cass Corridor, Chandler Park, Claytown, Cody Rouge, Cornerstone Village, Denby, Gratiot-Grand, Grixdale Farms, Islandview, Jefferson Chalmers, Littlefield, McDougall-Hunt, Mexicantown, Nortown, Russell Woods, Seven Mile Lodge and Warren Avenue Community Center.
“Our mission is to promote literacy and the love of reading, and we believe that this partnership with Gale will help us achieve that goal,” said Greig Metzger, executive director of Little Free Library. “We are excited to see the impact that these Little Free Libraries will have on the youth and adults in Detroit.”
To show their continuing commitment to the partnership and to supporting literacy, Gale will restock the libraries with books annually, ensuring the neighborhoods continue to have access to a wide selection of reading materials to enjoy.
A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book-sharing exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books, that are often built by supporters or volunteers – with their own unique, personal touch. Little Free Library book-sharing boxes provide 24/7 access to books in areas where books are scarce to encourage a love of reading.
For more information about Thorndike Press Youth Large Print, visit its webpage.
About Cengage Group and Gale
Cengage Group, an education technology company serving millions of learners in 165 countries, advances the way students learn through quality, digital experiences. The company currently serves the K-12, higher education, professional, library, English language teaching and workforce training markets worldwide. Gale, part of Cengage Group, provides libraries with original and curated content, as well as the modern research tools and technology that are crucial in connecting libraries to learning, and learners to libraries. For more than 65 years, Gale has partnered with libraries around the world to empower the discovery of knowledge and insights – where, when and how people need it. Gale has 500 employees globally with its main operations in Farmington Hills, Michigan. For more information, please visit www.gale.com.
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About Brilliant Detroit
Established in 2015, Brilliant Detroit provides a radically new approach to kindergarten readiness in neighborhoods and creates a unique delivery model for early childhood development by using underutilized housing stock to create early child and family centers in neighborhoods. Brilliant Detroit homes – complete with signature orange-colored front doors – provide holistic services for children ages 0-8 predicated on evidence-based programs around health, family support and education. The organization was born to create kid success neighborhoods. In each location, neighbors come together for fellowship, activities and learning to assure school readiness and provide needed support for families. For more information, visit: brilliantdetroit.org.
About Little Free Library
Little Free Library® (LFL) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that builds community, inspires readers and expands book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Libraries. There are more than 160,000 registered Little Free Library book-sharing boxes worldwide in all 50 states, 120 countries and seven continents. Through them, over 300 million books have been shared since 2009. LFL received the 2020 World Literacy Award as well as honors from the Library of Congress, National Book Foundation and others. The organization grants Little Free Libraries full of books to underserved areas through its Impact Library and Indigenous Library Programs and champions diverse books through its Read in Color initiative. To learn more, visit: LittleFreeLibrary.org.
Kayla Siefker, Gale, part of Cengage Group