Ruqayyah Simmons

Black Boys Read Too - Founder and Executive Director

Ruqayyah Simmons is a fifth-grade teacher in Buffalo, NY. After seeing many students struggle to meet their reading benchmark goals, she discovered that many students do not have access to books outside of the classroom. To help solve this problem she decided to find creative ways to get books into the hands of her students. This inspired her nonprofit, Black Boys Read Too. She believes African American boys should be given every opportunity possible to develop literacy-based skills and immerse themselves in the joys of reading. Ruqayyah places bookshelves of brand-new books to be used during the waits at the Barbershop. With an emphasis on books with Black protagonists, heroes and role models, her hope is our boys will be able to enjoy books that they can relate to. In addition to her bookshelf program, she hosts free literacy pop up events throughout the city.