A partnership between the National Book Foundation, the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI), and Lamba Literary plans to bring an after-school reading program for LGBTQ teens to New York. When its official site launches on February 5th, BookUp LGBTQ will provide teens with a safe space to develop their literary tastes and talents. The program features booklists curated by Megan Kruse and Naomi Jackson, among others. Poet and Cave Canem fellow t'ai freedom ford is attached to instruct.
The National Book Foundation's BookUp program provides students with free books, instruction, and excursions. According to the foundation's website, "BookUp LGBTQ will run similarly to our current BookUp sites, but will focus specifically on giving the youth a richer sense of their history and the tremendous contributions of LGBTQ authors throughout time."
BookUp LGBTQ will provide teens with classes and field trips to enrich their literary education and foster the desire to tell their own stories. The selection of host site HMI ensures that New York's homeless teens will not miss out on the program. In their announcement, Lamda Literary writes that "HMI provides comprehensive counseling and case management for nearly 2,000 LGBTQ youth and their families."
Fostering a love of reading is important for all teens, but it is critical for youth from underserved and marginalized communities. Summing up her new program's mission mission, Program Manager Amy Gall says, "BookUp LGBTQ creates a space where LGBTQ youth can see themselves as part of a dynamic community with a rich past and limitless future. We want to empower them to become the new generation of world changing readers and writers."