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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

New York City Dept of Education Purchases Nearly 10,000 Anti-Gang Children’s Books From African American Self-Publisher

Ralph Burgess, founder of Burgess Publishing and Media, has written a one of a kind book in both English and Spanish that’s turning educators’ heads nationwide.

Ralph Burgess, author of the Cool Calvin children's books

Ralph Burgess, author of the Cool Calvin children’s books

Newark, NJ — From the time his book was showcased on NBC’s Today Show in July 2006, sales have been soaring for the Newark, New Jersey-born self-publisher. With more than 30,000 books sold over the last year, Cool Calvin’s No Bandanas for Me-Staying Gang-Free Anti-Gang children’s book can be found in more than 600 schools across the country.

In 2006, Burgess Publishing and Media entered into a distribution deal with Sussman Sales, a book distribution company that has been providing New York City schools with books covering all subjects ever since 1973. Sussman engineered the sale of 8,100 copies of the English version and 1,500 copies of the Spanish version of the book to the NYCDOE.

“These are the type of deals you hope for as a publisher,” said Burgess. “It feels great to know that decision makers have confidence in your material enough to make such a significant purchase.” Cool Calvin has quickly become a role model for children all over the country. The book has a third grade readability level and is marketed to grades 2 to 6. It also comes along with its own teacher’s guide. It can be found in every major school district in the country, but large city school districts such as Chicago and Los Angeles have failed to embrace it like the Big Apple has.

“There are no two cities in the country where communities have been held hostage by gang activity more than Chicago and Los Angeles,” said Burgess. “I hope a purchase like this will make educators take a deeper look at the huge educational advantages the book has to offer.”

New Jersey’s Secretary of State Nina M. Wells stated, “I like the fact that it’s written from a peer to peer point of view. I like the fact that it addresses character education. We really have failed to teach core values. If those things were emphasized more, you wouldn’t have a gang problem.”

Louis Barnett, School Social Worker at Brehm Elementary School in Baltimore, MD said, “Mr. Burgess, I was stopped in the hall by one of our intervention teachers who shared how enthusiastically our students have been reading your books. She expressed amazement that she has actually had to ask students to put your book away, since that’s all they want to read. She has noticed many of the 3rd through 5th graders reading No Bandanas for Me and her excitement was evident. Several of our parents applauded us for purchasing your book for our students since they recognize that gang activity is a growing problem in this community. I am pleased that your book is available to touch young lives.”

Mr. Burgess is available for workshop and book signing bookings. Reach him at 973-220-0344.


Ralph Burgess