An immense collection of books fills the shelves of Tree House Books. From Best American Essays by Annie Dillard to Sula by Toni Morrison to a shelf dedicated to children’s author Lemony Snicket.

Tree House Books, a nonprofit organization in North Philadelphia, works to “grow and sustain a community of readers, writers, and thinkers” through afterschool and enrichment programs. Neighborhood children participate in the literacy program called Life With Books.

“I like moving up a reading level,” said 5th grader Dominique Cooper. “I like reading and being able to do my homework.”

Dominique, along with fellow student and friend, Ajalee Green, attends Tanner G. Duckrey Elementary. Dominique originally learned about Tree House from a friend at Duckrey.

The friends participate in the literacy program, and when a student reads 10 books or five chapter books, their name is placed on the “Limo wall.” As a treat, Tree House rents a limo for the students whose names are on the wall, whisking them away to an unnamed destination, only revealed to them upon arrival.

Students work with tutors from nearby Temple University.

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