A Shipment: From Start to Finish

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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.

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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.

What a Night!

Dear A to Z Supporters,

Thank you for being so very generous. Thank you for showing up and filling the room at Park Place on Saturday night. Thank you for supporting our mission and for helping us make a difference in the lives of many marginalized children. Because of you, we were able to raise $7, 142!!

Thank you for valuing the power of literacy both here in Crystal Lake, Illinois and far off places like Lusaka, Zambia. You understand the important role books play to inspire and to liberate young minds.

Thank you for being so charitable in your giving and joyfully participating in our annual fundraiser. And most importantly, thank you for helping our organization to grow and thrive over the last eight years.

Time to Bowl For Hunger

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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.

“Zambia, Zambia, what do you see?” A story comes full circle…

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?