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Literacy

First Grader Collects Books For Homeless Kids

books304NYC first-grader Blake Ansari has set out on an impressive mission — to get books into the hands of homeless children.

The Metropolitan Montessori School student first learned about underprivileged children from his father Nuri Ansari, who works on programs that support homeless and the formerly incarcerated. After learning that not every kid in New York is as lucky as he is, he began to collect books to bring to homeless children.

The Atlantic has the story:

Some came from his classmates. About 200 were donated by family friend Bob Gore. And even more were collected by the office of city councilmember Helen Rosenthal from neighbors of Blake’s school on the Upper West Side, including the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Altogether, the drive netted some 600 books, which will be given out to children who go through the intake process at PATH and be theirs to keep. Blake and his family took the books to PATH in time for Valentine’s Day. He was happy, but he still wants to do more, maybe to build a real library. His mother says he put it this way: “When you listen to the community, learn from the community, and help the community, you connect to your best self.”

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10 Charities That Encourage Reading

bookstoprisonersDuring the holidays, many people are looking for charities to contribute to help out. To help encourage literacy, we have put together a list of 10 charities that promote reading. For your exploration below, we’ve listed the name of the charity, their mission statement and linked to their site.

There are certainly many other fine organizations that help teach people to read, so feel free to help us grow this list by leaving your favorite charities that promote literacy in the comments section. Also check out our list from last time. Read more

McDonald’s to Distribute 20 Million Books in Happy Meal Promotion

hjappy hourFor two weeks in November, McDonald’s plans to distribute children’s books in an epic happy meal promotion.

From November 1st to November 14th, the fast food company will give out 20 million copies of the following titles: The Goat Who Ate Everything, Deana’s Big Dreams, Ant, Can’t, and Doddi the Dodo Goes to Orlando.

Reading Is Fundamental will partner with the fast food company as well, sharing 100,000 Happy Meal Books with  ”children who do not have easy access to books.”

Read more

LeVar Burton: ‘We’re sacrificing our kids’

If everyone loved Reading Rainbow, why in the world was it taken off the air? Politics, says, host LeVar Burton.

“That’s the story that a lot of folks don’t get. No Child Left Behind is doing exactly that, and so the mandate is to teach kids how to read, the rudiments of reading, and there was no money in the budget to foster a love of reading,” he said in our Media Beat interview. “Look, we have spent so much money on the machinery of war in the last 10, 12 years, we are having to make really ridiculous choices. And we’re sacrificing our kids, literally sacrificing our kids.”

So, Burton and his business partner, Mark Wolfe, bought the rights to the name, launched a new company, RRKidz, and created the Reading Rainbow app featuring over 150 books, video field trips and classic clips from the TV show.

“We have value, a product that is of value for families, that is economic and full of the kind of enriching content that the brand, Reading Rainbow, has always been known for,” said Burton.

Part 1: LeVar Burton on the Future of Reading Rainbow & Printed Books
Part 3: LeVar Burton on How Science Fiction Influences Technology

10 Charities That Promote Literacy

The holidays are just around the corner and many people are looking for ways to give to others. If you want to encourage future readers, we have put together a list of 10 charities that promote literacy. For your exploration below, we’ve listed the name of the charity, their mission statement and linked to their site.

There are certainly many other fine organizations that help teach people to read, so feel free to help us grow this list by leaving your favorite charities that promote literacy in the comments section.

1.Reach Out And Read: “Reach Out and Read prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read’s evidence-based model into regular pediatric checkups, by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children. The program begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities. Families served by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills, better prepared to achieve their potential.” Read more