Meg Howe, the owner of Alice, Ever After Bookstore (AEAB) on Parkside Avenue has a story near and dear to my heart. Meg is a master teacher, having taught early elementary school first in Boston, and then in Los Angeles at Larchmont Public Charter Schools which intentionally brought together a diverse group of students and families.
When Meg moved here last year, it was a return home for the West Valley native, and a decision rooted in building a wonderful life for her family in a place they care deeply about as well as following through on her dream to create a space like AEAB. This story is inspiring and more and more common as Buffalo's resurgence continues and expands to include more and more of our diverse community. It’s a story not unlike my own.
What’s going on over at AEAB is really wonderful. AEAB is the only bookstore in Buffalo completely dedicated to children’s literature. Under Meg’s leadership, the bookstore is providing the community with access to a wonderful collection of books that will help children fall in love with reading from the very beginning through young adulthood. Meg curates an inspiring collection of titles with diverse representation of characters and authors; there are books with fantastic value-based messages, as well as ones that are just plain fun.
Yet, perhaps the most exciting thing about what’s happening in the 800 square feet over on Parkside Avenue may be the way Meg thinks about the role that the bookstore can play in the community - it was this shared sense of common purpose around community and innovation that attracted us to forming a partnership together. Meg is building AEAB into a place where young people and their families can connect over the love of literacy, and also a place where events can happen that bring together members of the community that might not otherwise interact. For instance, the bookstore is doing inspiring work alongside the refugee community, as well as with neighbors in the Parkside community, and now with Buffalo Commons.
Buffalo Commons shares AEAB's love of literacy, devotion to telling the stories of all perspectives, and a deep commitment to community-based work. So we’re working with Meg on two really exciting projects in the coming months. First off, we are providing guest readers two times a month at the shop’s storytime series on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:30 am for kids of all ages. Excitingly, some of the books that we will be reading at storytime are going to be coming directly from our brand new Common Threads Book Series, which is being curated in collaboration with Meg. The books in the series feature a wonderful cast of diverse characters, are a pleasure to read with the entire family, and are linked directly to our core values of respect, integrity, curiosity, and hard work. You’ll be able to check out our monthly selections and get access to a school discount through our website. Additionally, families who enroll for kindergarten or first grade at Commons will receive a selection of books from this wonderful series that we are creating with Meg as part of their initial enrollment package.
We hope to see you at storytime one of these days soon! In the meantime don’t hesitate to check out what’s going on over at AEAB and take a look at the wonderful collection of books in our Common Threads series!