Actor/comedian Mike Epps and his wife Michelle Epps are focusing improving the lives of at risk youth through literacy arts as apart of a new campaign.
The husband and wife team have launched the Michael and Mechelle Epps Foundation to help educate the millions of Americans who cannot read or write.
The couple has also linked with rapper Queen Pen to visit students in Harlem, New York and adolescents in the Institute for Inner Development (IID) and Faith in Reentry program at Rikers Island.
The outing is part of the Epps’ new foundation’s attempt to promote reading and literacy, as there are over 42 million Americans who cannot read, write or do simple math, according to statistics.
“We decided to start the foundation because we know a lot of kids could be great adults, if they had the proper support as children. Last year, NBC reported that nearly 1.2 million teens hit the street every year unable to read or write.”
The goal is to improve the vocabulary and grammar of the adolescents, while encouraging them to express themselves through the written word.
“For the last 14 years or so I’ve been working with at risk adolescents and I can not stress enough how much preventative measurements work with these children. What Mike and Michelle are doing is not only necessary, but also brave. Our children deserve a chance. It’s easier to build a child…Then to repair an adult,” Queen Pen said.
The Epps and Queen Pen are planning to hit several other major cities throughout the country, including Epps’ hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Mike Epps has appeared in a variety of movies that have resonated with the Hip-Hop audience, including Next Friday, Roll Bounce, The Hangover and Janky Promoters.
He has also hosted the BET Hip-Hop Awards the past two years in a row.