On June 28th, A to Z Literacy Movement volunteers hosted their annual free book fair for 300 students attending summer school in Crystal Lake. Girls and boys in grades one through eight were able to self-select two books to take home . . . that’s 600 books to enjoy! Yeh!
In addition, we have shipped the last of our four
shipments for 2018. One major celebration was sending children’s books to a small library in Pakistan – a new country for us to connect with and support young readers. And while the cost of shipping has increased, we are still deeply committed to getting books into the hands of children around the world.
On July 20th, Betty, Alia, and Mal will head back to Zambia to work with our partner schools, Shine Zambia Reading Academy and School of Hope. Be on the lookout for an email with details of their experiences.
And as always, thank you for continuing to support us and believing in our mission to increase the love of reading everywhere. We could not do this work without YOU!
It all starts with a fundraiser – like dodgeball tournaments at Bernotas Middle School and Hannah Beardsley Middle School in Crystal Lake, Illinois. These fantastic schools hosted their annual A to Z Dodgeball Tournaments to raise funds for the shipping of books.
A to Z volunteers then hit the local libraries (post book sales) to gather free children’s books. (Library books are especially awesome as the sturdy hardcover selection provides a balanced assortment for our recipients.) Once the books are hand-picked, they are then boxed up, addressed, and bagged. Ready for the post office!
At the post office, the patient postal worker, Donna, methodically weighs each box, types in all of the shipping information, and ensures each M-Bag has a customs form attached to the M-Bag tag. It’s a process . . . and the line of people behind us usually grows as we work through each box . . . it takes between 30-40 minutes.
Today we shipped six boxes of children’s books to a new country – Pakistan. So exciting! Shearyar Arif Jessani found our nonprofit via the internet and requested an A to Z shipment for a small community library. The little library will serve as a reading room for children in the area and the boys and girls will be able to check library books out as well.
As always, we are so grateful for our supporters who continue to help us meet our goals and live out our mission to increase the love of reading and get books into children’s hands.
Love to bowl? So does A to Z!
We will be hosting our 1st annual family-friendly Hunger Bowl on Thursday, November 17, 2016. Come to Metro Bowl anytime from 4:00 – 7:00 PM. to raise money for Shine Reading Academy’s lunch program. Bring your whole family for unlimited bowling for just $40. Individual tickets are $20 for adults. Come bowl a few games while supporting an amazing school in Zambia.
By Betty Trummel
A couple of nights ago I finished writing the book I had started with the children at Shine Zambia Reading Academy. As I pressed “order” to send the book to Apple for printing, I felt that strong connection with my African friends once again. Smiling faces, fingers curled into small, pretend binoculars around their eyes, it took me back to June when I stood in their classrooms reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Using my photographs of African animals (and thanks to a good friend who had amazing lion photos), and the pattern of words in this book, a new book has been written. I can’t wait to get copies of the book, and send them to Shine. The teaching will have come full circle…reading and listening, brainstorming ideas, writing, publishing, and sharing.
It is my hope that students at Shine Zambia Reading Academy will be motivated by this book to write their own stories. Being a part of A to Z Literacy Movement has motivated me to keep writing down my stories and sharing them with students around the world. Everyone has stories to share. What’s your story?