Promoting Literacy Is at the Heart of a New Chicago Convenience Store

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Promoting Literacy Is at the Heart of a New Chicago Convenience Store

reading literacy

CHICAGO — Roux gas station and convenience store is putting the surrounding community at the heart of its operations, serving as a pipeline to literacy.

Located on the border of West Englewood and Chicago Lawn, where some students have hit the glass ceiling in elementary school at the age of 15 by going on to high school without the ability to read, Roux will offer scholarships, resources and books, which will be available for purchase and through donations, the Chicago Crusader reported.

The Roux c-store will also feature unique community outreach programs, such as:

  • The Roux All-Star Reading Team Literacy Club;
  • Neighborhood school and university events;
  • Contest and promotions centered on literacy and parental involvement;
  • Roopster Roux character appearances, as well as reading and sports activities;
  • Unique store product mix, including a Roux Unique Finds Section; and
  • Partnerships with professional athletes and celebrities.

Through a collective with the Roopster Roux — a Lavaille Lavette book series that Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley declared "Roopster Roux Day" after — Roux c-store will partner with Chicago Public Schools, and faith-based and community organizations to expand youth reading opportunities.

Through youth reading competitions and corporate-sponsored incentives, NFL and NBA athletes, schools with the most books read can receive a party with a celebrity athlete, coinciding with Roopster Roux's motto, "Reading can be as much fun as a slam dunk, a touchdown, or a home run!"

"It's not just about reading comprehension. We need youth writing fluently and will incentivize written story summaries, continue to complement Roopster Roux programs with essay competitions, stories and books to discover the next generation of authors," stated Lavette.

Alderman David Moore (17th Ward–Chicago) said he is making sure to engage the community so that children have access and learn about literacy. 

"It's not just a regular gas station, it's a community space to make sure that we bring businesses with a purpose to our community," he commented.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Moore introduced community partner Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), who commended the c-store's development and mission.

"Our families and communities should get the type of rights and access to a dignified lifestyle as any resident in the city of Chicago. IMAN is a partner with anyone that is ready to do right by the community and counter the decades of disinvestment in our community," said Rami Nashashibi, executive director, IMAN. "It's important that leadership in businesses like Roux reflect the communities in which they are serving. We are grateful that these developers are committed to principles and serve the holistic needs of our broader community."