LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — November is National Family Literacy Month. But, did you know, according to the Kids Count Data Center, Nevada's 4th-grade reading levels rank near the bottom of the nation?
That stat didn't sit well with one local young boy. 13 Action News introduces you to Justyn Boumah, this month's 13 MVP, who's using this pandemic to spread reading around the world.
"We need to reach our goal and our goal is to reach all around the world. That’s why I love reading so much," said Boumah.
Together, with help from his mom, Racquel Boumah, they have written and published eleven books, all based on his real-life international travel adventures in their series called The Traveling Toddler.
"I ghostwrite for the Traveling Toddler series. I ghostwrite for it, but it’s Justyn's thoughts and his things. But, this book was his own thoughts and writing and everything and he wrote it when he was four years old and he won first place from PBS kids!" said Racquel, referencing Justyn's book titled, "The Sheep Has His Helmet."
When Justyn's not writing and winning awards, he's reading. He recently wrapped up his second annual "Around the World" Read-A-Thon, rallying kids all around the world to read a combined 256 books and raise more than $2,300 for local homeless and foster kids and teens.
"It’s beyond what we could even imagine here in America. Really, it is, and they're kids. They’re, like, Justyn‘s age or younger. Kids have bags of clothes. Not a backpack, not a suitcase, bags of clothes, here in Las Vegas. It just took me by too much," said Racquel Boumah.
Together, this mother-son duo is hoping to make Las Vegas and the world a little more literate, one book at a time.
Justyn and Racquel just released their newest line of Las Vegas-inspired books. If you want to learn more about their Traveling Toddler series or Justyn's read-a-thon, click this link.