A Year in Review

art table         Beatrice

DSC_0540         hands

Dear A to Z supporters,

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Theresa

Endless love endured this year for the A to Z Literacy Movement as creativity for fundraising increased.  Through Trivia Night, The Arlington Heights Scholastic Book Drive, Betty Trummel’s Open House, The Lundahl/Bernotas Walkathon, The Bernotas Dodgeball Tournament, The Savers Clutter Collection, The Alwood Elementary First Grade Lemonade Stand, The Louise White Elementary School CrAtoZy Sock Day, The AmazonSmile donation, The Christmas Drive at Good Shepherd Hospital, The Central High School Interact Club Spirit Week, The Central High School National Honor’s Society donation, Grants from the Crystal Lake Dawnbreaker Rotary Club, and donations from you, we were able to gather over $22,000.  This total far exceeded our expectations, which in turn, allowed us to achieve and exceed our goals.

Getting books into hands of impoverished children is our primary goal; with our funds, book drives and partnerships with other non-profit organizations we were able to send sixty six boxes of books: twelve boxes to the Zambia Rotary Club Nkwazi, twelve boxes to Accra, Ghana for an after school program, eighteen boxes of picture books and chapter books to School of Hope in Zambia, six boxes to the Jubliee Center in Zambia, and eighteen boxes of math textbooks to School of Hope in Zambia.

Our trip to Africa this year achieved our goal to professionally develop teachers.  We were able to spend quality time in two schools utilizing the expertise of four teachers: Shine Academy and All Kids Can Learn International.  In addition to providing professional development, we were also able to fund two teachers’ salaries and pay for approximately six months of school lunch at Shine Academy.  Furthermore, we were able to award a scholarship to Jonathan for his yearly tuition and a bicycle to cut his four hour walking commute to school in half.

We have also increased our local outreach to meet the needs of those in our own community.  We were able to donate one hundred string bags filled with picture books to Kiwanas; hundreds of books to the Immanual Lutheran Clinic; hundreds of books to School Distrcit 47 Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee; and hundreds of books and story time to Garden Quarter.

Because of you and your extraordinary love of giving, we were able to give to so many this year.  Thank you for all you have done to help us reach our goals. Without you and your love of giving, this would never have been possible.

A to Z Literacy Movement

Storage Wars – Part 2

By Mal Keenan

green door storage

Last year, Pat wrote about her storage facility experience of receiving new books from a donor who previously sold children’s educational materials for a living. The donor had accumulated boxes of science and social studies trade books along with multiple boxes of small guided reading books. The storage space needed to be cleaned out and we were thrilled to receive the assortment of books. Total score for A to Z.

This past weekend, Wendy and I traveled to another storage facility (which is another story for a different day – Americans and their storage units) to collect eighteen boxes of books from another donor who levels books for a living. Levels books for a living? Right, so publishers send copies of books to Monica and then she determines the grade and guided reading level. Once leveled, the books sit patiently in a storage unit. After a few years of waiting and not needing to be referenced again, the books are free to go. As we loaded them up, I was all smiles. A to Z scored again. Our little nonprofit is making a difference and people like Monica who levels books for a living are willing to help us help others.