A Final Reflection – Remembering A Decade In The Books

By Betty Trummel

Last year, 2018, as we started to look back at a decade of A to Z Literacy Movement we realized just how much of an impact we had had both locally and globally.  It’s often important to look “back to the future.”  Looking back gives us perspective and focus on how to move forward.  The future of A to Z Literacy looks very bright indeed!

Our Board, local students and supporters and volunteers have become woven into the fabric of our mighty little nonprofit!  Annual events are established, and so many people have FUN while raising money to get books into the hands of vulnerable children in McHenry County, other local areas, and around the world.

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Whether it’s fundraisers such as “Libations for Literacy,” dodgeball tournaments at the District #47 local middle schools OR fiction/nonfiction “books in a bag” created by Crystal Lake AVID students or those at Monomoy High School in Harwich, Massachusetts, or the Christmas book drive at Good Shepherd Hospital…so many people help us reach our goals.  It takes a village…and thankfully our “village” continues to expand each year.

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Maybe you can become a part of our village by volunteering to gather and sort books, help with a fundraiser, assist in giving away books at the free book fair at “The Clinic” at Immanuel Lutheran Church or District #47 Summer School book fair we host each year.  Maybe YOU have a great idea for our next successful fundraiser!  We can always use your help.

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This year our five shipments of books (remember each shipment has SIX boxes of books!) were sent to Zambian schools in both the northern and southern provinces of the country, a first time shipment to a small library in Pakistan, and to two different Peace Corps volunteers working in Zambia…one from Crystal Lake (the home base of A to Z Literacy).

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One of the highlights for me personally was traveling to Zambia for the fourth time to work with our partner schools – Shine Zambia Reading Academy, where I spent the majority of my time in central Lusaka, the capital of Zambia; and School of Hope, where Mal and fellow teaching colleague Ali Hammerstone concentrated their efforts in a more rural area where we have a deep connection to both the School of Hope and Village of Hope (an orphan village).

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The three of us helped to provide professional development sessions at School of Hope’s inservice/workshop day with over 200 Zambian educators present.  What a powerful way to make a difference…truly inspirational to be a part of and witness.

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We have been blessed with the opportunity to help others, but gain so much for ourselves…an appreciation for education around the world, the compassion of teachers in challenging circumstances, and the commitment to students and also their own professional learning.  WOW!

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As we’ve already moved into 2019 … the wheels are spinning.  New projects are forming.  Your donations matter and go directly toward our mission.  We appreciate YOU, our supporters, our sponsors, and our friends in literacy.  Thank you so very much for choosing to walk this path with us!

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