September 8 is International Literacy Day

Tomorrow is International Literacy Day.  If you can read and write, you may want to help others do the same.  How?  Oh so many ways:

*team up with a bookstore to donate a book a month to your local elementary school,

*leave a good book that you’ve finished at a bus stop (it may spark a life-long love of reading in a stranger),

*volunteer to read to a child at your local elementary school or library,

*read a story to an elder who struggles with reading,

*donate to CODE Canada or another organization that helps promote literacy.

The question isn’t what you can do, and WHEN and HOW.

Choose to make our world a better place.  Support literacy today!

Laptops for Liberians

There are lots of great projects that need funding, but one that I really support is CODE Canada’s work to encourage and assist the publication of books in third world countries.  Imagine a child living in a third world country trying to make sense of books about kids living in New York, or Iowa, or Whitehorse. Now imagine that you have to learn another language to even read them!  That’s what it’s like for a child living in Kenya or Tanzania or Ethiopia or Liberia.  Now imagine being able to read a book by a writer from your own country, a book in your own language, a book about your world. This is  what CODE is trying to achieve…and it can, with your help.  

I know, I know. If you’re anything like me, your donation dollars are already stretched to the max.  But wait. There is another way to help. And it doesn’t involve your pocketbook, or even much of your time!

If you have an old laptop in the closet collecting dust, please consider donating it to assist a Liberian writer.  Yep, it’s that easy.

Contact Kathy Stinson.  She will be working with CODE to get your old laptops into the hands of writers and illustrators who need them most.

So, if have an old laptop in the closet collecting dust,  here’s your chance to give it to someone who will put it to good use.

Don’t delay.  Contact Kathy today.

Proceeds from a children’s book, Sock Wars will support Raise-A-Reader

The loss of a child is a difficult thing for any family, but the Christensen family of British Columbia have chosen to remember their son and brother, Jonah by raising funds for children’s charities.   The Make-A-Wish-Foundation and Canuck Place (a  pediatric hospice that provides palliative care children and support for their families) are two charities that have benefited from this family’s admirable efforts to cope with their grief by supporting others in need.  Since Jonah’s dad was a magician, it was a natural to raise funds through magic shows.  This year, the family has expanded their fundraising efforts to include a children’s book inspired by Jonah’s playfulness.  Sock Wars is the story of a sister and brother who have fun even before the chores are done.  Written by Jonah’s twelve year old sister,  Hannah Christensen and illustrated by Erika Quiroz, this charming picture book is as joyful as it is heartfelt.  This year, the proceeds from book sales will be donated to the Raise-A-Reader, a children’s literacy program that has raised millions in a little over ten years.

You can read an on-line version of  Sock Wars but don’t forget to boost literacy in BC with a generous donation.

These are just of few of the several hundred books I’ll be donating to the Galiano Island Library in celebration of International Literacy Day. How are you celebrating this important day?

September 8 is International Literacy Day

Happy International Literacy Day! Today is a great day to celebrate literacy, but also to reflect on the riches that being literate has brought to each of us, our families and our communities.  Of course it’s a great day for those of us who want to celebrate, but what about the one in five adults who aren’t literate?  And what about the 67.4 million children who don’t have the chance to attend school?  There are so many ways to support literacy in your community with programs like “Raise a Reader”, nationally through organizations like ABC Life Literacy CanadaLiteracy USA and internationally via UNESCO and CODE.   If we all do a small part to give others a chance to celebrate life with literacy, we’ll make our world a better place.