It’s June 2019 and I’m sitting in the basement of a St. Louis community center during the filming of a Marvel Hero Project episode. I’m waiting to meet Sidney Keys, the founder of Books N Bros and a real-life superhero. The gravity of the situation does not escape me – this moment has been three years in the making after all. Finally I get the nod from the Disney/Marvel team that it’s time for me to walk up the stairs to meet the young phenom who has inspired so many, including me.
On February 11th, the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield, MA unveiled a mural inspired by Ty’s book When I Close My Eyes. The mural spans the length of a wall in the children’s section of the library, and features Ty’s beloved character Dot. When I Close My Eyes is a picture book that encourages young readers to use their imaginations.
Ty had the pleasure of speaking to over 500 students and 100+ educators at Frederick Harris Elementary School in Springfield, MA during Family Literacy Day. After school there was an open house where he gave a keynote to the parents about the importance of reading in the home.
Ty brought his passion and energy to the students of Arthur T. Talmadge Elementary School on Wednesday, March 23rd. Each 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade student received a copy of his book Danny Dollar Millionaire Extraordinaire and then they ended the day with a pizza party!
In December of 2014, Ty collaborated with The United Way of the Greater Capital Region to promote literacy to over 400 preschool students through a program titled ONE BOOK. The “one book” that was used was Ty’s picture book “When I Close My Eyes.” The above story provides an example of the impact promoting literacy can have on a child.
Ty was featured as a “Gateway City Leader” by MassInc. for promoting literacy to the youth of Massachusetts, as well as his work in promoting literacy to incarcerated parents though The F.U.L.L. Program. The F.U.L.L. program, founded by S.E.E.D. Network C.E.O. Eddie Taylor, changed thousands of lives by reducing the recidivism rate to single digits through those who participated.
Ty was honored to be one of the finalists for the Berkshire Entrepreneur/Visionary of the Year Award, chosen by The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce. Ty was nominated for promoting literacy in the Berkshires and beyond through his most recent book “YOU ARE AMAZING/I AM AMAZING“, a self-affirmation book for children featuring real children from the Berkshires.