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Comedian Mike Epps and his wife Michelle have started up a reading program for at risk youth. The Michael and Michelle Epps Foundation will work to help the millions of Americans who are unable to read or write.

Also on board with the project is rapper Queen Pen, who has joined the couple in visits to youth in Harlem and those incarcerated on Rikers Island.

“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,” Queen Pen tells

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“The goal is to improve the vocabulary and grammar of the adolescents, while encouraging them to express themselves through the written word,” continued Queen Pen. “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.”

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