I donated money to Indigo’s Love of Reading Foundation. As careful as I need to be with my money right now, I had to do something to share my love of books with others in a more profound way than just writing about them on my blog. How can I do nothing to help others learn to love reading?
In Canada, schoolbooks are abysmal. Our textbooks were old and ratty, and the school libraries were never au currant with very little selection. Schools are underfunded and understaffed when I attended over ten years ago; I can hardly imagine what grade schools and high schools are like now.
I have only just discovered that annual funding provides as little as one-third of a book per child and most kids don’t own any books themselves. Is it any wonder that students are failing their literacy tests and forty-two percent of adults lack basic literacy skills?
My cousin, now in high school, hated reading and did everything she could to avoid picking up a book. I started loaning her my books, ones that were more recently published, and now I sometimes borrow books from her. It is not that students are not willing to try, it is that they have no incentive to. Just like my cousin, they just need to be given something they feel worth reading to awaken their imagination.
Indigo’s Love of Reading Foundation selects an elementary school each year to receive funding for three years towards books and literacy programs. You can donate money, purchase LOR merchandise, and sign an online petition to the government to make literacy a priority in schools. Last year, 1.5 million dollars in grants were given to schools in need. In the six years this program has been running, 9 million dollars has been given.
LOR is also partnered with ECHOage, a North American charity-driven online birthday party service. Guests of the party donate to ECHOage with half the money going to the charity and the other half goes to purchasing a gift the birthday kid wants most. One of the charities is, obviously, Indigo’s Love of Reading Foundation and in the States there is the Reading is Fundamental organization.
My cashier asked if I was willing to round up my purchase to the nearest dollar to give to the LOR foundation. That is it, just eighty-six cents. Most people dislike having change in their pocket, so why not give it to a good cause? I did.
I recently saw on the Reads, Reviews, Recomends blog that two girls in Texas, Farrah and Britney, are trying to raise awareness and raise money to buy books for two hospitals. You could donate to them, or start your own campaign for your own local hospitals and charities.
Perhaps, getting children interested in reading again will prevent our local libraries from closing like is happening in England, and from other bookstores going bankrupt like Borders in the States. Can you imagine life without books? Because if we don’t do something about it, we may soon be living it.
Don’t just talking about it, do something to make a difference.