InsideOut Literary Arts Project is proud to partner with BookUp, the National Book Foundation’s after-school reading program, which has worked for eight years to boost a love of reading in underserved neighborhoods throughout New York City.

The partnership with iO, launched in 2016, marks BookUp’s first foray into Detroit and its first official city partnership. Similar to iO’s 20-year-old writer-in-residence model, BookUp sites are all led by acclaimed local writers, helping to bring new depth and excitement to reading lists and books selected by students. The partnership also puts books in the hands of middle school students and covers the costs of book-related field trips.

BookUp has achieved tremendous results in New York, and we see Detroit as a city that welcomes new initiatives to address literacy and educational equality,” said Leslie Shipman, Assistant Director of the NBF and founder of the BookUp program. “We see InsideOut Literary Arts Project not just as an expert in how BookUp can accomplish its goals in Detroit, but also as an important ally in our mission to promote reading among young people.” Please help grow the partnership and the many possibilities BookUp and iO are creating for youth by supporting an exclusive event on April 19th.

To date, BookUp has given away over 25,000 books to its students, often establishing their first home library. Shawntai Brown, a playwright, poet, and iO writer-in-residence living in Detroit, is BookUp iO Detroit’s instructor, meeting weekly with a group of approximately 20 students at the Garvey Academy.

“As an organization founded on the belief that young people want and deserve opportunities to engage deeply with literature, InsideOut sees the launch of our first BookUp site as a natural extension of our mission,” said Alise Alousi, Interim Executive Director of iO. “We share BookUp’s belief that there’s a powerful level of engagement that happens when professional writers become part of a school community. We look forward to growing our work with BookUp iO Detroit.”