At The Bottom, our BookShop functions as an independent bookshop but primarily as a literary program. The literary program provides a community writing space, a curated collection of Black-affirming or Black-authored literature for all ages, author talks, community dialogues, and storytelling events.
One of the goals of The Bottom is to support and encourage literacy and a love for literature among young people. In January 2023, we started our Lit Kidz book program that provides one free book a month for kids ages 0-18. Participants' parents and/or guardians register them in the program and receive a punchcard that keeps track of when books are picked up. With a yearly budget of $240 per student, the book price is capped at $20 per month.
We are seeking to curate readings for young book lovers by removing the cost barrier so that children can begin to build their own libraries at home. Literature can be engaged in many ways besides reading and seeks to create avenues that promote that belief. Our Lit Kidz program allows us to focus on this belief in our community’s young people, inspire a generation of writers and readers, and encourage our community in literacy.