Sunday, January 1, 2012

Start the Year by Making a Connection for Literacy

The new year’s begun, but before we get too far: One additional thought about the power of making connections.

2011 marked the first full year of We Give Books, the digital literacy initiative presented by Penguin Books and the Pearson Foundation. At current count, we’re closing in on 600,000 books shared as a result of this campaign. In the process we’ve helping a growing number of great non-profit organizations deliver books to young people they serve in communities around the world.

We’ve set as one of the Foundation’s many new year’s resolutions to make sure we deliver our one-millionth book sometime in 2012. To do so, we’ll be doing more than ever before to showcase the great work of exemplary non-profits served by We Give Books—organizations including Room to Read, Volunteer USA, Books for Asia, and the Harlem Children’s Zone. We’ll also be doing more to share We Give Books’ ever-growing library of free digital titles with schools and community organizations who might wish to make use of it.

Very likely at the center of the forthcoming We Give Books milestone will be another: We’re already making plans to set another world record this fall in conjunction with our 7th annual Jumpstart Read for the Record campaign. You might remember that on October 6, 2011 more than 2,184,155 people read Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama Red Pajama in a show of support for early childhood education. We’re hoping to best that number this fall, and to showcase Jumpstart and Read for the Record even more within our broader We Give Books program.

Together, we intend that both these programs will add up to a lot of reading. More importantly for us they add up to increased awareness about the essential role that reading has in developing successful lives for young people everywhere.

If you haven’t had the chance to check out We Give Books just yet, may I suggest it’s a great way to start the new year?

If you like it, please spread the word. We think it’s a great, easy way to get involved in an essential cause. Your efforts will help share books with great literacy organizations, and will get your ready for a brand-new record-breaking celebration this fall.

Best wishes for a great new year.

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