Spread the Word

Written and Photographed by Scott Dalzell

NOTE: Scott publishes great writing and photography at his blog, Rantings of a Loon. That’s where this article originally appeared. Please check it out!


Concentration was high during trivia rounds.

After yesterday’s busy day, I’ve been completely out of it today. I actually took a three-hour nap. On a hard floor. That never happens.


Mal welcomes attendees to the event.

But one of the highlights of yesterday was for a friend’s not-for-profit, A to Z Literacy Movement, fundraiser. The event was held to help raise money for books, shipping and other costs needed to help run the much-needed organization. The organization provides books to kids who would normally not be able to afford reading material and serves kids in Zambia and Chicagoland. The group also sends a handful of teachers to Zambia once a year to work with many of these children and their teachers.


Positive energy was everywhere on Saturday night.

Many of us take so many things for granted. I find it somewhat ironic that we have students and parents that take education for granted. At times reading, writing, and all the core subjects seem like a huge imposition to children and their families. Education is often times put behind sports and extra-curricular activities.


Pictures throughout the space reminded us why we were there.

But there are places in the world where these basic skills are never offered. If a child and their family desires an education, they often have to travel for hours so they can learn in schools which are dilapidated and lacking in the basic necessities. But it’s through the spirit of the children, their parents and teachers that education holds a place of utmost importance.  My friend’s organization is really trying their best to feed into that need and desire to learn.


History in the making! The winning team plays the tie-breaker round.

The passion of this organization to spread literacy is unlike anything I’ve encountered. A to Z Literacy Movement wants impoverished children to have the chance to see the beauty in reading and literacy. One of the biggest hindrances in a child’s ability to learn is their socio-economic status. If a child isn’t sure where their next meal is coming from they certainly won’t spend what extra money they might have (if they have any) on a book.


MC Bob addresses the crowd.

A to Z Literacy Movement wants to try to solve that problem to the best of their ability. It is an incredibly large task for a small group of people. But this small organization with a huge heart is leading the charge to bring literacy to children everywhere.



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