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Turning the Page Brings Character to the Loop

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Posted  12 months ago  in  Guest Blog  by  Jason King

At the beginning of the month, Turning the Page’s bookstore, Carpe Librum, moved from its space in the Pedway to a street-level spot in Block 37 on State Street. The move puts the used bookstore in a high-profile location that both brings character to State Street and puts more eyes on the bookstore. Turning the Page founder and CEO Jason King tells the story of how Chicago Loop Alliance helped facilitate this move and how it will benefit this important Chicago nonprofit.

Turning the Page is an education non-profit engaging public school parents in Chicago’s North Lawndale community. We raise funds for our school-based effort innovatively: through the sale of donated used books, CDs and DVDs in pop-up bookstores, located in activated Chicago Loop retail space.

Turning the Page is an education non-profit engaging public school parents in Chicago’s North Lawndale community. We raise funds for our school-based effort innovatively: through the sale of donated used books, CDs and DVDs in pop-up bookstores, located in activated Chicago Loop retail space.

Located in the Loop--in Block 37, on State Street, and in the Thompson Center–we are able to reach thousands of people each month. We are grateful to the Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) for introducing us to these partners, and for advocating for the importance of activated retail space. The CLA’s creative team is always thinking about how to bring the local business community together. We view our partnerships with the organization and local property managers as well as owners to be a win-win.

We are grateful for being part of the Loop community and to raise funds. We are also excited to hear that by activating space while it is being marketed, we are adding value to a partner’s business goals. From book collections in offices to the thousands of individuals who have supported us with the purchase of books, there have so many individuals and organizations in the Loop who have contributed to our success.      

CLA cares that the work they do on behalf of the business community also benefits the community at large. In this case, the funds Turning the Page raises benefit many families in one of Chicago’s most underserved communities--North Lawndale.  Turning the Page, founded in Washington, D.C. in 1998, started programming in the North Lawndale community in 2014.  Since our start in Chicago, we have engaged more than 1,200 families, provided more than 15,000 books to home libraries and seen significant outcomes, with parents reading at home with their students at high rates, and with evaluation findings showing that students of parents who attended TTP events are outperforming their peers.

We know that our programs and results would not be possible without the partnerships we developed with the local business community.We look forward to both strengthening and growing these partnerships in the months and years ahead.