Not School is a grassroots literacy program designed to get people to read

Not School is my newest venture. I’m looking for funding and for people who’d be interested in joining once it’s up and running. Please also feel free to share this information with others. You can go to Not-School.com for more donation options and updates, but here is the general idea:


This is a month long program that gives a small group of people a book and a stipend. Participants will read that book, come to a virtual meeting to talk about it, and write their reflection of the book on the blog. The purpose is to get people to pick up a book and really engage. The style is tight-knit, short-termed, and focused. All that is on purpose–to hold people’s interest. There’s a great book in their hands and a reasonable schedule to follow, plus a social component. So it’s like school, but not.

The program is run by Seton Hall University instructor and Ten Dollar Books owner Rachel Wagner. She’s been in education for over ten years and designed Not School to address literacy and poverty. Monetary access to physical books is only part of the reason people often aren’t in the habit of reading. Commitment and community are also major factors. That means deciding it’s worth your time to read and not feeling intellectually isolated. Paying the group to read targets these types of issues head on.

Three books have been chosen to start the first official run of the program. We are looking to raise $3000 to cover web development, books, stipends, and facilitation. Fifteen people will be accepted over the summer–5 for each month. This is the schedule:

  • May 2022: Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis
  • June 2022: Komi Can’t Communicate by Tomohito Oda (18 and under)
  • July 2022: Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

Cashapp: $rachel908

Venmo: @rachel908

Zelle: 9084995355

-Rachel Wagner

Visit Not-School.com or contact rachelwagner908@gmail.com for more information.

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