Alvin Irby

Alvin Irby is a former kindergarten teacher turned award-winning social entrepreneur, international speaker, comedian, and author. He is Founder and Chief Reading Inspirer at Barbershop Books, a national literacy organization that inspires Black boys and other vulnerable children to read for fun. Irby’s popular TED Talk “How to inspire every child to be a lifelong reader,” has been viewed over 1 million times.  His work connecting reading to male-centered spaces and involving men in boys’ early reading experiences earned him the National Book Foundation’s 2017 Innovations in Reading Prize.  Irby’s debut children’s book, Gross Greg, combines his passion for early literacy and comedy; it is a laugh-out-loud story that captures the hilariously gross behavior of kids everywhere.  As a stand up comedian, Irby’s clever social commentary and astute observations shine through in his 2018 comedy album Really Dense. One of the highlights of Irby’s comedy career was being selected as a 2015 StandUp NBC national finalist and performing at the legendary Hollywood Improv in Los Angeles, CA.

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