Tyler Stallings is not your typical 6-year-old. The Baltimore native is always on the move trying to help his community and promote his passion of books.
Tyler has loved books since he was 4. So much so that he started a literacy campaign called Tyler’s 1,000 Book Giveaway to encourage other kids to read.
“When he was 4 we created it because Tyler had the benefit of going to a particular place in the Baltimore area that gave free books away before he could even read,” said Andrea Blackstone, Tyler’s mom. “I always felt literacy was important because I grew up with lots of books and I’m teaching Tyler that it’s important to read lots of books too. So when he really understood the value of books, he started asking about other kids. And that’s why he’s been working to share books with other kids.”
Through social media, Tyler inspired others with the hash tag #Tyler’s1000BookGiveaway to promote literacy. Though the traveling book festival, Tyler gives away free books to children and teenagers in parts of Maryland and Washington D.C. With the help of sponsors and grants, Tyler has given away over 5,400 books to date.
But in August, Tyler saw what was happening to Baytown when Hurricane Harvey hit, and did what he does best: helped. So lo and behold he got to work to find a way to help the students of De Zavala Elementary.
“I wanted to help the children who been flooded," said Tyler. "I wanted to keep them encouraged to read, and get back on track."
In pursuit of helping Baytown kids, Tyler applied for a We Stand Strong Against Disasters grant and was one of 12 finalists who was awarded the grant. After the public voted online he won $250 to implement his idea of taking his literacy campaign on the road to Baytown.
“I hope that the kids like them. I hope the kids enjoy them. I hope the school is happy about it and I hope they have a lot of fun because I do my best with my book project,” Tyler said.
For several months, Tyler and his mom went bargain hunting in stores and collecting books from nonprofit agencies, such as The Maryland Book Bank and The Book Thing.
Once the books were acquired, Tyler employed the help of his friends Sunadae Davis, 7, and Zya Mills, 5, to count, organize and pack 300 books along with school supplies.
De Zavala Elementary has since received the books and faculty is planning an event to give them out. But no date has been set.
When Tyler isn’t helping youth, he kind can be found reading, writing his own books or running Kid Time Enterprises, to which he is the CEO of. At the age of 4, Tyler told his mom that he wanted to start his own business, so he co-wrote a children’s book called “Tyler Goes Around the World” with his mom that evolved into an early lesson in entrepreneurship.
That entrepreneurial lesson led to Kid Time Enterprises, which integrates the belief that youth should be taught to be producers, not just consumers, as soon as they are able to understand basic financial principals. They strive to encourage entrepreneurship through launching a variety of projects that lead to the development of high-quality books, kid-friendly products and meaningful partnerships.
If that wasn’t enough, in 2016 Tyler received the President Barack Obama Service Award for all of his community service.
What’s next for Tyler is uncertain, but whatever he decides to do will undoubtedly be for a good cause.
For more information visit www.KidTimeEnterprises.com.