Banishing Book Deserts in the Louisville Community

For many years, Make A Way Media has worked hard to spread a love of reading and emphasize the importance of diverse stories and characters through publishing and distributing our work.

It’s been my mission and passion to create and share stories that will resonate with kids from all walks of life and socioeconomic statuses. This company has also strived to create beautiful and timely books that allow young readers to see themselves in stories of faith, love, bravery, adventure, inclusion, and hope. For too long, these diverse and multicultural books have been hard to find or non-existent. Though great strides in showcasing diverse role models within the pages of kids’ books have been made, there is a ton more work to be done.

Banishing Book Deserts

Years ago (in 2016 to be exact), I was deeply moved by this article in The Atlantic. 

The article spoke of the reality that in many high-poverty urban neighborhoods, it’s nearly impossible for children in underserved areas to find something to read when they are not at school. Read the article in its entirety here.

Back then, the message in this article hit very close to home for me. In my hometown of Louisville, KY, Highway 65 is the divide between the east and west part of the city. West of Highway 65, there are no book stores, and that significantly reduces access to books for this community’s children and youth.

It truly is a “book desert.” I knew deep in my heart that action needed to be taken to remedy this lack.

The idea for creating a book festival in my hometown had been rattling around in my head for quite some time. Then, in 2018, I took a leap of faith and founded the Louisville Book Festival (LBF). The Louisville Book Festival is an online celebration that promotes authors and encourages communities to share the benefits of reading, writing, and literacy.

Louisville Book Festival

Please visit the Louisville Book Festival website to learn more about this 501(c) (3) non-profit organization created to help communities celebrate and promote reading, writing, and literacy.

Fast forward many months, and our plan for the 2020 Louisville Book Festival is THRIVING. Yes, we had to pivot and get creative when COVID-19 gripped our nation, but the event is still happening online, and we know it will be better than we ever could have dreamed.

Meet the Authors and Speakers of the Louisville Book Festival

Speakers and Authors of the Louisville Book Festival

-Vince Vawter
-Chantelle Agbro
-Cathy Fyock

Authors and Speakers of the Louisville Book Festival

-Shawn Pavey
-Deedee Cummings
-de de Cox

There will be many more to come as well! Follow the Louisville Book Festival on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay in the loop on LBF news and updates. AND, you will also be the first to know when we do our Extra Special Keynote Speaker reveal!

Save the date for our virtual festival on October 23-24. ❤️📚

Louisville Book Festival

Our gift to YOU: This is the Earth FREE Downloadable Home and Classroom Discussion Questions about Peace.

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About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 16 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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