Does your zip code determine your future?


The Bronx is in Literacy Crisis

  • As of 2016, only 56% of high school graduates in The Bronx are college ready. Poverty is a major factor, with 40% of children in the South Bronx living below the poverty line. A child raised in poverty is 13 times less likely to finish high school on time, if at all.
  • 70 percent of third grade students in The South Bronx are unable to read at their grade level. The New York City Department of Education has found that children who fail to meet the third grade benchmark are more likely to dropout of high school and remain in poverty.
  • The South Bronx has the poorest congressional districts in the nation and has the most unemployed, according to a 2016 report by South Bronx Rising Together (SBRT)

Why should you care?

You should care because this literacy crisis has a solution. You can be part of that solution. Here’s how…

  • Volunteering consistently at Bronx community centers, schools, and non-profit organizations goes a long way.  If you volunteer on a regular basis, you will begin to develop a better understanding of what is going on in Bronx communities.
  • Ask community leaders, exactly how you can help.  Perhaps you have a unique set of skills that can make a major impact.
  • Donate resources.  All it takes is one book.  Many Bronxites cannot afford to build their own libraries at home.  Many institutions in The Bronx lack up to date technology, i.e.  computers.  Today record numbers of New Yorkers are relying on their libraries for free job information, Internet access, computer classes, business information, after-school programs, and much more.
  • Contact your representatives.  Demand that they make literacy in The Bronx a priority.

My name is Gregory Hernandez.  I’m a Bronx native, resident, photographer, and filmmaker.

I grew up on Jerome Avenue, blocks away from Yankee Stadium.  I’m lucky to have  both of my parents, who provided a stable foundation for me.

Poverty means wasted lives.  Being deprived of the essentials for living a consistent life creates adverse conditions for people, who could have grown to their full potential, prospered, and contributed to society.

My team and I are producing a documentary highlighting this literary crisis facing The Bronx.



Five Essential Ways to Support Our Documentary

Join Us By Donating!
  • Make an online Donation! We now have fiscal sponsorship from Fractured Atlas!
    This means your donations are tax deductible!
  • Follow and interact with us on Social Media: @1.5million_documentary
  • Watch and share our official trailer
  • Get the word out about our film to your network! One decision maker, one person of influence and one person who is an educator


Turning the Page on Illiteracy in the Bronx



Illiteracy and poverty are often intertwined. Without the ability to read, your chances of securing employment, a home, and the life you want, dwindles.

It begins with the desire to learn, but continues with the opportunity. Access to literature at the library, school library, classroom library, at home and within your community is essential. That’s why we decided to make a feature length film to shine a light on the literacy crisis here in The Bronx.

Movie Poster by Lola Adeniyi