Why We Exist

We use poetry to increase literacy, empower youth, and inspire communities.

The Literacy Crisis

Did you know 1 in 4 children in America grow up illiterate? We have a literacy crisis in our backyard.

1 in 4 illiterate

1 in 4 children in America grow up illiterate.

California 46th

California is ranked 46 / 50 in teen literacy.

34% drop out

LAUSD has a 34% drop-out rate.

79% below proficiency

79% of low-income Black & Latinx third-grade students read below proficiency.

3x more in prison

2-3 times more Black and Hispanic men live in prison cells than college dorms.

39% graduate

Only 39% of low-income students graduate from college.

The Homegrown Remedy

There is hope. Get Lit helps provide the remedy.

98% go to College

98% of Get Lit Players go to college, and 70% get scholarships!

50,000 youth reached

The Get Lit Players’ performances reach over 50,000 youth each year through performances and over 100 million people online!

More engagement

97% of teachers see a significant increase in attendance, engagement, and grades after participation in Get Lit’s Core Program!

With your support, we are making a difference.

Become a luminary!

Our Story

Get Lit was founded in 2006 after Diane Luby Lane created a one-woman show about the power of books and toured colleges, high schools, jails, and detention centers, with iconic Chicano poet Jimmy Santiago Baca. After the show closed she couldn’t bear the thought of cutting off the work completely. She started teaching classic and spoken word poetry in three high schools: Fairfax, Fremont, and Walt Whitman Continuation. When the semester ended... the students wouldn’t leave. They insisted on meeting after school. The rest is history. Today, the curriculum has expanded to over 100 schools throughout California, and is sold to schools all over the world. Get Lit’s poetic ambassadors, The Get Lit Players, are the most watched poets on the internet with over 350 million online views…

Words Are Powerful

Walter, one of our graduated Get Lit players, studied Langston Hughes with Get Lit in prep for the Classic Slam, Get Lit’s annual culminating festival for the in-school program...a journey that took him all the way to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, Hughes's alma mater. He was the first to attend college in his family. Now he stars as Virgil in the play, Dante and is a show contributor to the hit Netflix show, On My Block.

Check out Walter’s story in a short documentary by Youth Speaks called “The Drop-In.”

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