How would the world change?

By Anastasia Gruper

How the world would change if…

…every child had the opportunity to read stories.
…every child built their imaginations and schema on different encounters with the written word.
…every child had the opportunity share their ideas.
…every child had the opportunity to write their stories.

As Mal and Dave prepare for their trip to Zambia, we remember our mission and our goals: to improve the lives of impoverished children through literacy development.

After listening to Chimamanda Adichie’s Ted Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story,” it is evident that change is taking place in Nigeria.  Through the use of literacy, people are making a difference. As Chimamanda concludes, she speaks of the “incredible resilience of people who thrive despite the government rather than because of it.” Her volunteer work teaching reading and writing workshops, building libraries, refurbishing libraries, and providing books for state schools who lack resources improves the literacy lives of children.  Her mission is similar to ours: to provide children the opportunity to read, write, and tell many stories that matter.

Safe travels to Mal and Dave, may the work you share improve literacy lives and give children the opportunity to tell their stories.

6 Boxes of Books made it to the Dominican Republic


Sometimes, when you ask, you receive.  Cristy learned that when she contacted us a few months ago:

Hi, my name is Cristy Kinahan, Sandy Kinahan’s daughter.  My mom told me about your organization recently and that you might be able to send books to the school I am currently teaching at in the Dominican Republic.  Of course I would need to talk with our school directors but please let me know if there is anything I need to or can do in order to make this a possibility.  I teach at Saint David School in the city of Santiago.  It is a bilingual school for students from three years old through high school.  I teach American curriculum to first and second graders.  This year has definitely been a blast and an amazing experience.  Though I have learned so much, it also has made me grateful for the ample amount of resources that were available to me growing up in District 47.  Because the school has split curriculum between Dominican and American, our English resources are limited.  Any donation would be helpful, these students are energetic to learn the language and better their lives.  I have seen your organizations website and love the incredible things you are doing in Zambia to help those students in need.  I hope that extending your good wills to the Dominican Republic is a possibility as well.

After a few weeks of back and forth, the A to Z team decided to send a shipment of books.  Here’s the response:


The books arrived yesterday!!!! We are so excited! It was also my director’s birthday and “Dia del Libro” so it was perfect!  Wow, we cannot thank you enough, these books are amazing and I cannot believe how many there are and in such great condition!  My director and I presented the books to the school today and they are on display in our tiny library.  Though they cannot be checked out until all are stamped and registered, classes are invited to visit and see all of your amazing donations.  I took my first graders today and they had a blast!  We let them explore different picture books and then did a couple read alouds, they were amazed and so excited!  I also had a few sixth graders take a peek and they found some interesting texts as well.  Our school is so incredibly grateful for your efforts and generosity, we cannot express it enough.  I have attached a few pictures I took today of my students.  We will update you further on our excitement and joy but I just wanted to send you a quick message to let you know that we received the six packages!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!


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My Librarian is a Camel

By Betty Trummel


Recently I shared excerpts from “My Librarian is a Camel” with my class as part of our literacy instruction at Husmann Elementary School. What a wonderful reminder of how people around the world, especially in small corners and remote places, value books and reading. It certainly makes me reflect on the mission of A to Z Literacy Movement…to get books into the hands of impoverished children. Whether it’s by boat, camel, donkey cart, or elephant, the fact that people are creative in how books are brought to children puts a smile on many faces world-wide.

The author of the book, Margriet Ruurs, stated: “From Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe, I discovered people who are passionate about books and who understand the importance of libraries in our lives.”

So true, Margriet, and right now I’m thinking of the library we helped create at Shine Zambia Reading Academy located in the compounds just outside of Lusaka, Zambia.  I can just imagine the students there enjoying the books we’ve shipped to them and the games we’ve brought to the school while on our teaching trips.

Smiles, lots of happy children, learning every day. Happy to be a part of this wonderful organization…A to Z Literacy.

Dreaming of a Library: Just Imagine

By Anastasia Gruper

Recently a teacher sent me this link:

Imagine the excitement and joy a child would have if the space they were able to read, write and tell stories in took them to another place and time. Imagine the stories people could create surrounded by such creativity.  Imagine the desire people would have to visit the land of books.  It’s time for a road trip.


Calling All Clutter!

We are excited to announce our second Spring clutter drive!  Last year’s Savers drive was a success (2.5 TONS of our used items went to Savers!), and we hope that with your help, that this year we’ll donate even more.


A to Z 2014 Annual Report

We are proud of the work we did in 2014, which wouldn’t have been possible without your support.  Please take a minute to check out our 2014 Annual Report:

A to Z Annual Report 2014

Finding Ways to Ship Books


It’s that time of year: Spring. And with the season comes the dreaded but rewarding duty: Spring Cleaning.  Why not triple the reward: clean out your house, donate your goods to a worthy cause, and raise money for A to Z.

Savers, located at 230 West Virginia, makes donating your gently used items easy.  Simply drive your car through the drive up and an employee will meet you at your car to take your items.  Just mention that you are supporting A to Z and they will also donate money to help us support our number one goal: shipping books to the impoverished areas of Africa.

Thank You to All Who Attended Trivia Night!

Our 2nd Trivia Night was a blast.  Don’t miss out on the fun next year!

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Making Connections: English Language Arts Units of Study and A to Z Literacy Movement

The following post was originally published on Betty Trummel’s classroom blog, which you can find at

In keeping with our current theme in the Unit of Study and our story entitled “My Librarian is a Camel” we are learning more about how children around the world get books.  Today I spoke with the entire fourth grade about a local non-profit organization called A to Z Literacy Movement.  I have been involved with A to Z for about 5 years now, and our key mission is getting books into the hands of impoverished children in Zambia, Africa. (as well as other places and also here locally)  

Check out:  for photos, video clips, and more information.  The students all wanted to DO something after hearing about children in Zambia and the work of A to Z Literacy Movement.  

We have decided to do several things:  

1) We’d like to collect gently used books to send to the students at two schools (lower level books, no “western” world themes, yes to nonfiction and picture books, and also to easy fiction).  

2) We’d like to collect change…all of the coins we can (or any money donation), to use toward shipping the books to Zambia and/or school supplies for the students.  

3)  Some children expressed an interest in collecting/donating school supplies, since children in some areas in Zambia rarely even have a pencil of their own.  Supplies most needed are pencils, larger erasers or pencil-top erasers, hand-held pencil sharpeners, and boxes of 12 colored pencils.  I will gather these items in my classroom, and they will be taken to Zambia in June.  

4)  Many students expressed an interest in creating their own books to share with students in Zambia.  I had shown the group several examples of books I self-published on Apple/Mac that I either wrote with the children I taught in Zambia or wrote with students in my class here at Husmann.  Go for it!  It would be fun to have more books written by our Husmann students!  

Here are a couple of the books I’ve done…

Zambia, Zambia What Do You See ABC's of Husmann

Here are a few photos that depict what it’s like in the areas where A to Z Literacy has worked in Zambia.

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You Are Invited!

A to Z would love to have you and your friends join us for our annual FUNdraiser on Saturday, February 21st at 7:00 pm. Trivia Night will consist of three rounds of trivia with live auctions in between. Tables seat between six and eight people, so get a group together, or feel free to come in pairs and join a friendly table of A to Z supporters.

Last year folks had a blast – the perfect way to cure your cabin fever.
Head to the website to buy your tickets and let us know who will be joining you.

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