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.

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


By Pat Kelly

As I listened to a student’s class presentation about Mahatma Gandhi, he quoted the significant man: “In a gentle way you can shake the world.” I wrote the quote down and instantly began to think about it’s application to A to Z Literacy Movement.

In our own little way we have shaken the world. Or at least one corner of it. A to Z receives  support through a variety of resources: literature, volunteers’ time, financial and even verbal, through those who share our mission in conversations.

With last month’s celebration of Thanksgiving comes reflection on all that has occurred for A to Z Literacy this year. We’ve had numerous new fundraisers and have been fortunate to rely on our annual philanthropists as well. We have had schools who named us the beneficiary of their book fair, buying scads of books for us with their revenue generated. We have had donors find us and bring us boxes of books bound for children’s hands. In Zambia we met new friends at The School of Hope and have given them a shake, sending boxes and boxes of books in a shipping container and locating a set of requested encyclopedias.

Gandhi was a man of wise words and ways. Countless individuals will herald his methods and follow his advice. At A to Z Literacy, we use Gandhi quotations to move and shake us in our work. Comment below and share some of your favorite quotes!

Recent Email

By Mal Keenan

I love reading how happy folks are when the boxes of books finally arrive. These messages reinforce the work we are doing and motivate me to continue the mission of A to Z Literacy Movement.
Here’s one that arrived today:

Dear Mal,

I hope you’re having a great year. I just wanted to write and say THANK YOU!!!!!!!! The books arrived in Ghana and they are AMAZING!!!! They actually arrived a few weeks ago and I had grand and glorious ideas of taking pictures and sending them to you, but since that has been delayed, just wanted at least to say thank you and let you know they arrived safely.

Just a quick update on our end, the library bookshelves were just installed, so I’ve got a team ready to come and organize them and get them ready to go. We’re just about ready to re-open this library. Super exciting!!

Thanks so much for your support. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Receiving emails from recipients of A to Z book shipments never gets old.