Literacy Lab names Collins unit lead

Less than a week after the announcement of the launch of a new effort to attract local Black men to the education field while helping pre-kindergarten students with their literacy, a local leader for the initiative has been named.

Carlton Robert Collins is an activist, author, entrepreneur, and speaker with over a decade of experience in education initiatives nationwide.

Carlton Collins
Carlton Robert Collins

He becomes the founding Cincinnati Leading Men fellowship program manager with The Literacy Lab, a national nonprofit looking to expand for the 2022-23 school years to Cincinnati, Atlanta and Phoenix.

The Literacy Lab was co-founded by co-CEOs Tom Dillon and Ashley Johnson in 2009 in response to the challenges that Ashley saw in her own classroom as a high school special education teacher for District of Columbia Public Schools. The Literacy Lab began by offering after-school reading tutoring to children in Washington, DC and Alexandria, VA. In 2012.

Carlton will lead a recruitment effort to attract 20 “fellows” in Cincinnati for the 2022-23 school year.

Each fellow is paid $15 per hour, receives a monthly transportation stipend, a uniform, and a $2,500 scholarship — all in addition to the deep workforce training that the jobs offer. The following year, 30 fellows will be hired, then 40 fellows in each of the two subsequent years after that, driving significant improvement in kindergarten readiness among about 2,500 students.

Carlton published a book in 2017, Resist Every Bias on Every Level (REBEL) focuses on Black Male Achievement and Leadership Development. In 2018, he co-founded Engines That Work, a minority business development firm based in Cincinnati. In 2020, as part of The Heights Movement, a community development organization, Carlton launched My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Lincoln Heights, in partnership with the Obama Foundation.

He has served on numerous boards and aided in numerous initiatives including becoming the youngest national secretary of Morehouse College Alumni Association.

An innovative public-private partnership led by the GreenLight Fund secured $4.6 million in funding to bring the Literacy Lab program to Cincinnati.


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