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Meet Miriam Moore of Reading Empowers Neighborhood Youth (R.E.N.Y.) in South Atlanta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Miriam Moore.

Miriam, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am originally from Mount Vernon, New York but raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I grew up on the south side of Atlanta (Clayton County) and while in high school, I began working in childcare. With the support and encouragement of many influential educators, including my father, I developed an intrinsic love for early childhood education. Watching children beam with excitement every time they learned something new, filled my heart with joy. It became evident early on that I was called to help craft the young minds of students. Thus my educational journey began. I later attended Livingstone College, an HBCU in Salisbury, NC on a full academic scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I was eager to learn more so I furthered my studies and received my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and then my Educational Specialist degree in Early Literacy.

I come from a family and church family of educators and I’ve always had great teachers that positively impacted my life. As I look back on my childhood to now, I must say my educational journey and the village that came together to raise me played a major role in the cultivation of my flourishing life. I am an elementary school teacher in Atlanta, GA and even to this day, I am excited about being a life-long learner, but more excited about pouring into the generations that follow me, much like the generations before me did on my behalf. My background in education, specifically literacy, has opened many doors and has been incredibly engaging. As a teacher, I have learned so much due to my freedom to become more creative in my approach to meeting the needs of 21st-century students. I have had great success with my students inside of the classroom, but when I became a mom, I wanted to empower even my children to love learning, to enjoy reading, and to understand the importance of it. Inside and outside of the classroom, I have strived to make learning fun by creating exciting and engaging learning activities for children to engage in, even my children. Occasionally, I share some of these activities on my daughter’s Instagram page @PrincessSerenitySays. I am a strong advocate for early literacy and enjoy being a teacher/mom. While watching the educational growth and academic success of both my son, Brendon, and my daughter, Serenity, I have been even more inspired to support programs nationally that help other young children read to succeed. At the age of 3, my daughter, Serenity, who is affectionately nicknamed “RENY,” looked up at me with sincerity in her heart and said, “Mom, it doesn’t matter where you live, every kid should be able to read good books like me.” This powerful statement served as an inspiration to open The RENY Shop for a much bigger purpose.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not always been a smooth road. Teaching, parenting, being an advocate for children, writing a book, and even opening a business is not easy by any means. But when you are driven by your faith and have a burning desire within yourself to move to a state of total commitment, then success is inevitable. Life is like a road. It has bumps, cracks, and obstacles, but in the end, it gets you somewhere. Life, in general, comes with struggles, from disappointment to finance to you name it, but when you are truly 100% committed to reaching your goals and working to fulfill your purpose in life, whatever that may be, then quitting is not an option. In my case, I was blessed with having the resources that I needed along my educational journey to become who I am today. My husband and I are blessed to be in the position to do the same scaffolding for our children. However, it is understood that everyone doesn’t have that privilege. It is my belief and it has been proven time and time again that reading opens the doors to many good things in life but also opens the windows to the world. There are children growing up in neighborhoods that don’t even have access to books and that breaks my heart. I was raised to pay it forward and I am teaching my children the same thing. I believe that ensuring that books are available to any child at any time of the year will be a good first step in enhancing the reading achievement of low-income students.

Reading Empowers Neighborhood Youth (RENY) – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Reading Empowers Neighborhood Youth, LLC (RENY) promotes literacy through bookish apparel and shares the joy of reading books with children in need. It is our mission to give back to the community as much as we possibly can. The fact remains that reading can empower our young people. Reading Empowers Neighborhood Youth, LLC (RENY) continues to expand our brand and serve as a medium to bridging the achievement and opportunity gap between students from high-income communities and their less-affluent peers. Our “bookish” apparel not only promotes and celebrates literacy in a stylish, kid-friendly way but it also supports literacy programs worldwide to help put books in the hands of children everywhere.

 Imagine a nation where every child is fully supported along their literacy journey. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality for many children. Significant barriers stand in the way for children in low-income communities, including scarce books and a lack of diversity in the books that do reach them. Over 8.5 million US children lack access to the literacy resources they need. RENY. is working to change this in the US and abroad.

Reading Empowers Neighborhood Youth (RENY) supports the efforts of nonprofit organizations that teach, improve, and encourage reading. With every purchase, you help us to donate books and support a variety of literacy initiatives in low income communities around the world. Our sole mission is to support organizations that truly engage and empower the reader in every child.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I don’t have just one proud moment in my career. I am proud every single time my students learn something new and they are excited about it. I am proud when they learn their letter sounds, how to decode words, learn their sight words, read a book, etc. I’m proud when they are proud of themselves and their parents are proud of them. I’m proud when they persevere and overcome an obstacle. I’m proud when they learn something new and apply it to everyday life or to help someone else. The same goes for my children. My son, Brendon, has gone viral for his Kindergarten Black History Project about Colin Powell and even received recognition directly from General Powell himself. My daughter, Serenity, has gone viral for her learning videos numerous times(millions of views) and has received many accolades as well. I have written my first book entitled Heroes in History and it is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books A Million. Even though all of these moments in my career as a teacher/mom/author/new business owner are great, what makes me the proudest is that our lives and experiences are positively impacting others and provides a sense of hope for many. Every single day, we strive to be of service to others and that is how Reading Empowers Neighborhood Youth (RENY), LLC evolved. The RENY Shop is not just about buying and wearing bookish apparel but understanding the bigger picture. Your purchase helps to create those same “proud” moments for children in low-income communities.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.TheRenyShop.com
  • Email: info@TheRenyShop.com and therenyshop@gmail.com
  • Facebook: @therenyshop
  • Instagram: @therenyshop

Image Credit:
Miriam Moore
Jo’V

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