For immediate release | May 24, 2010

BCALA Launches Reading is Grand! Celebrating Grand-Families @ your library

(CHICAGO) On June 1, 2010, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), an ethnic affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), will kick off Reading is Grand! Reading is Grand! promotes intergenerational literacy and is targeted at grandparents raising grandchildren.

This inaugural event will be held at the Whitney Young Branch of the Chicago Public Library. Renowned author, storyteller and historian Irene Smalls will read from her books, notably “My Nana and Me” and “My Pop Pop and Me,” and discuss the importance of sharing stories across generations. Grand-families will receive a free children’s book.

BCALA encourages libraries across the United States to participate in Reading is Grand! by hosting similar programs on June 1, 2010 and throughout year. BCALA has developed a toolkit to help libraries of all kinds plan and implement literature-based family literacy programs.

According to the United States Department for Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, 5.7 million grandparents are living with grandchildren, and 42 percent of these grandparents are primary caregivers. Additionally, 51.7 percent of African-American children live with grandparents.

Reading is Grand! is generously supported by the American Library Association as part of ALA 2009-2010 President Camila Alire’s Family Literacy Focus Initiative.

For more information, including programming ideas, please visit or contact Karen Lemmons,; Tamela Chambers-James,; or

Claudette McLinn: