Hello. I thought I would do something a little different this month and instead of recommending a book, I thought I would list some charities and organizations that promote reading and literacy. Literacy is still a struggle in America (and around the world). About 14% of Americans are illiterate and about 21% read at a fifth grade level or lower. Anne comes from one of the most illiterate cities in the U.S. Not only are literacy-challenged people unable to enjoy the wonderfully dark tales here at Cimmerian Tales, but studies show a direct link between illiteracy and crime. So be a hero, stop crime, and help someone learn to read by looking into these charities:
5. Barnes & Noble: The Annual Holiday Book Drive – This one is super easy to participate in. Go to your local B & N, buy a coffee (or whatever), and buy a book that B & N will donate to a child in need. Each store gets to pick who receives the books, so my local one gives to a children’s hospital. The drive runs through January 1st.
4. Room to Read: An organization that is committed to the promotion of literacy and gender equality around the world. They have helped more than 7 million children so far. You can help in lots of different ways from donating your time to starting your own beard growing campaign to raise money for a school. Still shopping for gifts for hard to shop for people? Check out their Holiday Gift Guide for great ideas like filling 2 library shelves with great books.
3. The Office of Letters and Light: Yes, those wonderful people who bring us NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, and the Young Writers Program. In 2013, the young writers wrote over 444 million words for NaNoWriMo. That’s amazing! You can help fund these programs through donations or by shopping the NaNoWriMo store. Isn’t a Batyism keychain on your Christmas list?
2. Books Through Bars: Completely volunteer run, this group distributes books to the incarcerated. Why help people behind bars? Studies show that prisoners who become more educated are much less likely to return to prison. It’s one step toward a new and better future. They accept money donations as well as used books, and if you live in Pennsylvania you can also donate your time.
1. You: No money required! Just take your child (or a friend or family member’s child with permission) to your local library and read a book together. Whether it’s a picture book or Harry Potter, it will help. Children learn their best (and worst) habits from the adults in their lives.
Have a warm and well-read holiday season and, if you can, help someone do the same!
P.S. It’s always a good idea to do some research on any charity or organization before whipping out your wallet. 🙂