LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – For Jonathan Beatty, books are the foundation of life.
“Books have allowed me to live a life I never thought possible,” Beatty said, in an interview with LEX 18.
Growing up in Hazard, Kentucky, he used books to imagine the future he wanted for himself.
“Dreaming about living in California, traveling to Europe, going on vacation to an island, these were things I didn’t know were possible until I started seeing them in the books”, Beatty said.
After a career in corporate finance that took him across the country, he is back to basics. Beatty is leading the pound by pound battle against illiteracy.
“Illiteracy is at the root of a lot of our societal problems,” Beatty said.
Its approach is twofold. First of all, he is inspiring through music.
To see her music video, “I Love Books”, Click here.
To see his music video, “Books For Free”, Click here.
“I believe that if we want children to read, we have to inspire them,” he said.
Beatty shot a music video at William Wells Brown Elementary School in Lexington. Each child received a free book during what he said was a landmark day for himself and for young academics.
“You would have thought we gave them a million bucks like they kept the books,” said director Ebony Hutchinson. “They cherished them. A lot of kids say they read the book every night.”
“It was a dream,” Beatty added. “Literally a dream come true. I dreamed of that day in my head and what it would be like.”
In April, he launched his social impact brand I Love Books. He sells clothes and merchandise to promote reading. Half of every dollar goes to put books in children’s hands. So far he has distributed nearly 1,000 books.
“Coming from the business, I was trained to solve problems, and you first recognize the problem, and then you make a plan,” Beatty said.
Beatty believes that the fight against illiteracy will contribute to even greater changes, by solving problems such as crime, poverty and homelessness. He has no plans to slow down until every child in the country has their own library at home.
“Books are the key to freedom and a productive life as a human being,” he said. “I believe everyone deserves books, and I believe reading is a birthright.”
To learn more about the organization of Beatty, Click here.
Copyright 2021 by WDRB Media. All rights reserved.