Little Treasures Between the Pages

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As one of the book gatherers for A to Z Literacy Movement, I see a great number of books come into our hands. Occasionally the books contain secret treasures, flattish objects that someone who once held the book stored away inside.
Typically, they are bookmarks, but we see other items: a book’s receipt or scraps of paper with notes written on them. We picture a student patiently using the E.Z. Reader strip and see that a miniature ten-spot suitably became a bookmark. Even plastic toys wind up in books as the accompanying picture shows.
We are ever appreciative of our book donors, as we couldn’t do our work without them. And we’re reminded of the tale within the book when something slips out from it’s pages.
By Pat Kelly

A Box of Books. Who Knew?

By Mal Keenan

There is power in a box of books.

Books can make a difference in a child’s life and within his community.

Books can raise reading levels and graduation rates. Books can help solve old problems and create critical thinkers.

As we continue to grow our organization, books remain at the center. We will always be working to get books onto shelves, into homes and classrooms, and in the hands of impoverished children.

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Libraries and the A to Z Mission

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Pat’s trunk frequently looks like this.

By Pat Kelly

The books we recycle originate from many sources. One of the major, recurring places which provide us with quality stories is libraries. Public libraries have book sales and naturally, there are leftovers after the doors have closed. In a most generous manner, libraries donate those volumes left to non-profits.

Having gone to quite a few of these giveaways, I‘ve developed into an efficient gatherer. Time is of the essence when collecting books at a post-sale giveaway, and so I have become pretty good at judging books by their covers. Once I have an interesting one in my hands, I flip through it briefly to check condition (we look for very good condition), reading level and appropriate content for Zambian children. Quite a number of subjects that American children read about wouldn’t convey well to a Zambian child.

I thrill to find the occasional book which directly relates to Africa, such as a folktale or picture book about African animals. I also happily add to my box those stories which were my own children’s favorites.

Our partnership with libraries plays an important part in the support system carrying out the mission of A to Z Literacy Movement.

Another thing we are all thankful for.

Books! Thank You!



Thank you, Mary Windsor, from the Elmhurst Library, for donating three wonderful bags of children’s books. As with all of our donations, volunteers will sort through the stacks and decide what books are best for kids here in Illinois and what books will be shipped to schools like Mango Grove Community School in Zambia, Africa.

Please feel free to check out our book donation guidelines to see if you have a few books to donate.