Rohi's Readery owner Pranoo Kumar leading a reading program at The Square in West Palm Beach
Photo by Rohi's Readery
Rohi’s Readery is kicking off its observance of Black History Month with a day of events Feb. 5 at the store in The Square in downtown West Palm Beach.
Running from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the event includes an artisan market and is in collaboration with the School District of Palm Beach County.
The day includes a DJ, a high school student panel and a teacher workshop. The workshop aims to “foster pride through the infusion of African and African American literacies.”
The day will begin at 10:30 a.m. with an intensive yoga class with Jade Wonzo from Jade Light Yoga. At 1 p.m. kids will read a children’s book with Revolutionary Storytime, a program featured by Rohi’s Readery to “promote inclusivity and diversity to develop revolutionary readers and thinkers.”
Also at 1 p.m., Flose LaPierre of Write to Heal will host a creative writing class for adults. The class will feature meditation, breathing techniques, guided writing prompts, facilitated group sharing and resources for self-practice.
“It’s an honor to work with the vendors who are going to be supporting with classes and workshops,” store owner Pranoo Kumar said, “connecting people who all have a common goal of honoring stories of our Black community.”
Kumar opened Rohi’s Readery (rohisreadery.com) last year during the week of Juneteenth. Its mission is to “provide accessibility to all through the love of critical literacy through talents and educational programing.”
The bookstore and learning center is named after Kumar’s daughter, Rohini, who is named for Kumar’s annama (the Hindi word for grandmother). Kumar celebrates culture through personal practices with her family and the inclusive space she has created for the community. Kumar used “Readery” because of the weight the word holds: “The action of reading ties into free educational programming.”
She aspires for the store to be seen not only as a retail store, but also a space that creates accessibility and allows kids to authentically be themselves.
“I wanted to work with children in a different capacity and was disheartened by the systems around our youth,” Kumar said. “Systems that place a lot of red tape and hoops to jump through when trying to make significant change.”
With the power now in her hands, Kumar has immersed herself in the community to make those changes.
“I thrive on building human connection with people in the community,” she said. “Whether you’re new to the place, multigenerational or here just visiting, the goal is that when you come in here, you can always feel community.”