Kevin Dean of Literacy Mid-South
Photography by Larry Kuzniewski
Some call Kevin Dean a “book nerd,” but make no mistake, this isn't a diss. With the staggering statistic of 120,000 individuals in Memphis who read below a third grade reading level, Dean is determined to make education, reading, and being a “book nerd” a positive moniker. Dean returned to his Memphis roots for a position that would match his enthusiasm for education with his love for the written word. As the Executive Director of Literacy Mid South for three years, he has helped pull the once-worrisome organization out of debt, peppered communities and classrooms with campaigns proclaiming the notion that reading is sexy, and is about to present the city's first four-day Book Festival in September. Dean's hope is that there will eventually be 100 percent literacy in Memphis, and through his work at Literacy Mid South, he's helping the city embrace the love of learning, one page at a time.