New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

Literacy for Incarcerated Teens to be Recognized

Submitted by Rocco Staino, Empire State Center for the Book Director

The inaugural Empire State Center for the Book Literacy Award is being presented to Literacy for Incarcerated Teens (LIT).  The mission of Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, founded in 2009, is to improve the ability and desire of incarcerated youth to read, to offer encouragement, and motivation to seek a better future. LIT provides books, magazine subscriptions, reference resources and other library materials to centers. It offers on-site programs that introduce these youths to visiting authors, artists, filmmakers, poets and others.

It is the only non-profit organization of its kind working to end illiteracy among New York’s incarcerated young people by inspiring them to read. LIT strives to create excellent school libraries in New York City’s juvenile detention centers and non-secure facilities for young people adjudicated as delinquents, the State’s residential facilities operated by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), and also in schools that serve young people living in group homes. They give young people books and support literacy programming for school libraries.

LIT provides crucial resources for the enrichment and development of the thousands of young people who are incarcerated in New York’s juvenile facilities. These facilities have been widely recognized as being severely under-resourced and unprepared to assist young people in their growth and development. In an era of budget austerity, LIT is able to provide much-needed supplementary services and resources.  

The program will be recognized at the New York State Writers Hall of Fame Gala on Tuesday, June 7, in New York City.  The award is made possible through funds provide by David Rubenstein and the Library of Congress.

For more information contact Ellen Rubin.