Small. Independent. Traditional. The Brewers Association states these three characteristics as must-haves for American craft brewers. Being the non-alcoholic drinker that I am, all of the research I’ve done to write this article still doesn’t lead me to a thorough understanding of craft brewery. But what the heck? I can tell you how craft beer is more than just a trend and breaking educational barriers for children in low-income areas in Nashville.
Rhizome Productions is the mastermind behind this educational gap-filling movement in Nashville. With its mission to educate people about craft beer, Rhizome Productions host events throughout the South that enables people to learn about different craft beers while providing annual revenue to organizations such as Ride for Reading. They’ve raised over $125,000 for Nashville’s Ride for Reading organization.
“In middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13 to 1, in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children” (Neuman).
“80% of preschool and after-school programs serving low-income populations have no age-appropriate books for their children” (Neuman, Susan B., et al).
“The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to print” (Newman, Sanford, et al).
Nine years ago, Ride for Reading launched to increase accessibility of age-appropriate books to children in low-income neighborhoods. How they accomplish their mission is just as interesting as their strive to end startling statistics like the ones above. Ride for Reading is a non-profit organization of volunteer cyclists and literacy advocates who collect and deliver books to children in Title I schools. That’s right, they literally go to donation boxes throughout Nashville and deliver the books to these schools on bike! How cool is that? In addition to bike ride deliveries, they host a couple of their own annual events.
Last Saturday, they had their 8th Annual Ride for Reading Acoustic Benefit Concert at 3rd and Lindsley. In May, their annual National Ride for Reading Week will encourage other cyclists nationwide to deliver donated books to their local Title 1 schools. So far more than 50 cities in 15 states have participated during the National Ride for Reading Week. If you’re reading this post from a different city or state that doesn’t participate, head over to Ride for Reading’s site to register to receive more information about hosting your own delivery or event. Ride for Reading have many affiliate groups throughout the United States.
As it relates to the craft beer culture in Nashville, Rhizome Productions will host their 7th Annual East Nashville Beer Festival on April 8th from 12 pm to 5 pm in East Park.
“The East Nashville Beer Festival is Ride for Reading's largest single source of annual revenue, sponsored by Rhizome Productions and Three Crow Bar, and supported by a host of Ride for Reading volunteers,” said Kenya Stevens, newly appointed Director of Ride for Reading as of December 2016, “This will be the 7th year Ride for Reading has partnered with Rhizome for this event, and we're grateful for their amazing support over the years.”
Rhizome Productions have donated over $450,000 to local organizations.
During the festival, attendees will get a chance to taste Belgian and German beers. There will be live performances at The Basement East. This a 21+ event, ID required. Be responsible. Take Lyft or Uber after drinking. For more about this event, visit East Nashville Beer Festival site. Volunteers are appreciated. SIGN UP HERE.
“If more children have access to books in their home, their appreciation for reading and impact of education can be extended beyond the walls of school,” said Stevens.
Remember, drink up for the sake of literacy!
Neuman, Susan B. and David K. Dickinson, ed. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2. New York, NY: 2006, p. 31
Neuman, Susan B., et al. Access for All: Closing the Book Gap for Children in Early Education. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 2001, p. 3.
Newman, Sanford, et al. “American’s Child Care Crisis: A Crime Prevention Tragedy”; Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2000.
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