Our Story

A  six-year-old boy walked into a barbershop in the Bronx. His first-grade teacher sat in a barber chair getting a haircut. The young boy plopped on a sofa next to his mom and stared out a window for 20 minutes with a bored look on his face. This chance encounter between an elementary school teacher and one of his students led to the development of Reading Holiday Project, Inc. and continues to drive our efforts to employ culturally meaningful strategies that support early positive reading experiences for young boys of color.


Reading Holiday Project, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit literacy organization based in New York City. Our debut program is Barbershop Books


Use child-centered, culturally responsive, and high-impact strategies to close the reading achievement gap for young black children.

Theory of Change

Early, positive, and culturally meaningful reading experiences cultivate children’s reading identities. When children identify as readers, they read for fun, which leads to higher levels of reading proficiency.

Our Signature Program

Barbershop Books

A community-based literacy program that creates child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops across the United States. We leverage the cultural significance of barbershops to help black boys ages 4-8 to identify as readers. Barbershop Books connects books and reading to a male-centered space and involves men in boys’ early reading experiences.



Barbershop Books significantly increases the amount of time boys spend reading in barbershops. 




75 Maiden Lane, Suite 1102
New York, NY 10038