Early March 2023 Barbershop Books Founder and Chief Reading Inspirer, Alvin Irby, attended SXSW EDU in Austin, Texas. Alvin participated in a panel titled Building Literacy Access for Black Boys where he discussed the factors that influence reading development and the importance of access to culturally-relevant content to improve reading interest and enhance the reading skills of Black boys.
Alvin also had a solo presentation: Barbershop Books: A Community-Based Approach. In this talk he discussed the challenges of community-based early literacy work and the ways communities can support out-of-school time reading among Black boys and other vulnerable children.
After SXSW EDU we hosted a virtual wrap-up event with Alvin and fellow panelist Molly Ness, PhD. The event, From SXSW EDU to You: Insights on Innovation in Education, focused on post SXSW EDU reflections, combating reading trauma, and the importance of diverse children’s books in early childhood literacy.
Watch From SXSW EDU to You: Insights on Innovation in Education here.