PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Bestselling Philadelphia author Solomon Jones is launching a new literacy program for at-risk youth in the city.  The program is being launched tonight at a major event in center city.

Words On The Street” is the brainchild of bestselling author and columnist Solomon Jones, who says writing is important for education — and for life:

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“For me, it has a special meaning, because when I began writing I was living in a homeless shelter.  And I remember my first article being published, and seeing it in print and knowing  that hundreds of thousands of people were seeing that.  It really turned my life around — it was a turning point for me.”

The goal of the program is to raise reading scores for all students, but especially for young black male students.  Students will write their own stories; the best will be published in the Daily News.

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Students from three Philadelphia high schools — South Philadelphia, Fitzsimmons, and Mastery Charter/Shoemaker — will be the first to participate in the program.  The curriculum will be based on his new novel, The Last Confession.

The school where reading scores improve the most will be mentioned in Jones’ next novel.

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Reported by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio 1060.
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