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What Are Your Top Children’s Literacy Charities?

If you really want to change the world, help teach a child to read.

By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief

Educating and teaching literacy to our youngest should be a top priority of any society. But in developing and impoverished countries, books often take a backseat to catering for the most basic and immediate necessities, such as food and shelter. Charities, NGOs and other programs can often assist in such situations. Today’s feature story looks at one such program bringing books to pre-schoolers in Palestine.

We’ve written about many other similar programs over the years, including Worldreader, which uses e-books to educate children in Africa, and Sharjah’s IBBY Fund, which provides funds for “children whose lives have been disrupted through war, civil disorder or natural disasters in the region of Central Asia and North Africa through implementing reading-related projects.”

If you really want to change the world, help teach a child to read. As a book lover, I can think of no better use of one’s money.

Tell us, where do you donate your money?  What children’s literacy charities and programs do you support? And don’t forget to tell us how to get in touch with them.

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7 Comments

  1. Truda Spruyt
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Room to Read is a great organisation which builds schools and libraries in the developing world and funds girls’ scholarships and local language publishing. http://www.roomtoread.org/

  2. Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Reach Out and Read of Greater New York, affiliated with the national Reach Out and Read, Inc., works with pediatricians in the New York metropolitan area to give books to children 6 months through 5 years old at each check up and to encourage parents to read with their children every day. The pediatricians who do Reach Out and Read are committed to early literacy development in their patients, parents get the message that reading aloud will help them prepare their children for school, and the children love getting books when they visit their doctor.

  3. Posted July 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Like the Reach Out and Read program in New York, Reach Out and Read Kansas City (ROR-KC) teams up with pediatric and family clinics in low-income neighborhoods in Kansas City to provide books during well-child check-ups. We train and place volunteer readers in the waiting rooms to show children how much fun books are and to model reading aloud techniques to parents. Then the families go in for their well-child checks and the medical providers talk with parents about how reading aloud impacts a child’s development and helps prepare their children for a successful start in school. The provider then hands the child a developmentally appropriate new book funded through ROR-KC grant applications, donations and fund raisers and encourages the families to read together. For more information about ROR-KC visit ww.reachoutandreadkc.org. To learn about Reach Out and Read’s national program visit http://www.reachoutandread.org

  4. Posted July 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    We love each of the charities already mentioned – Reach Out and Read and Room to Read. The Reading Tub is another resource for those looking to donate. It is a 100% volunteer organization that not only partners with social services organizations and Title I schools to get books to at-risk readers, the website also offers tools and ideas to help families promote reading at home, where the road to literacy starts.

  5. Posted July 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Great post, with a great question. I love the charities you’ve mentioned. Personally, I’m a volunteer and contributor to BOOKS FOR AFRICA, and a sub-project of theirs called 1 Million Books for Gambia. This particular project is so important because it spotlights Africa’s tiniest mainland nation, one often forgotten (and whose official language is English). I’ve already seen some of the results of the project, and was proud to be part of the literacy campaign this spring, when we walked from border to border along with other students, stirring up a “need to read.” Thanks for all you do to spread the word about these organizations!

  6. Posted July 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Room to Read is doing an awesome job with literacy as well as in the area of education for girls.
    http://www.roomtoread.org/
    They have just released a fundraiser ‘Zac the Yak with Books on his Back’ which is both a book and an App.

  7. Posted July 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I usually donate to my public library. They offer early literacy programs that work with very young children preparing them to learn to read. While I like Reach Out and Read, it primarily puts books into the hands of children, which is important but limited, especially if parents can’t read well.

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