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North Lawndale pop-up bookstore lets kids pay what they can
CHICAGO (WLS) – A new pop-up bookstore opened Monday afternoon in North Lawndale. Young people in the neighborhood can pay what they want – or what they can – for a book.

North Lawndale’s strength is on full display at this time as the community unites to support its youth.

“We really need to work on increasing the number of people reading at the school level,” said Chelsea Ridley, project manager, North Lawndale Reads.

Chelsea Ridley is the Director of North Lawndale Readings, an initiative to help children learn to read at a younger age. Open Books, a Chicago-based nonprofit, is sponsoring the initiative by supporting a pop-up bookstore at the corner of Central Park Avenue and Douglas Boulevard. And the best part? Pay what you can or pick up a book for free.

“We have a ton of books that represent the demographics of this neighborhood,” Ridley said. “So that black children can see themselves in their books.”

The pop-up bookstore was once a wasteland, but it’s now part of a bigger goal: to fill the reading gap for children.

“It won’t be summer forever, we’re still going to be stuck at home this winter. So come get some books, get comfortable on your couch and read!” Ridley said.

The pop-up bookstore has only been open for about a week and the organizers are already looking to create a permanent location in the neighborhood.

For now, you can visit the pop-up bookstore on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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