Travel Bloggers Give Back: Promoting Childhood Literacy

“What else could we do to help make the world a better place this holiday season?” – Bret Love, co-founder of Green Global Travel

Thus began “Travel Bloggers Give Back—Use Your Blog to Make a Difference”. This unified movement of bloggers is giving back by sharing stories and creating awareness about their favorite charity organizations.

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." - Victor Hugo

The Spark

When I was eight years old, I remember my mother coming home from work one late wintry afternoon. After she put her coat away, she picked up her purse and smiling, she pulled out a plastic bag and handed it to me. My heart thumped wildly upon reading a bookstore’s name printed on the outside. Whatever was in there was pretty thick, and heavy.

I held my breath, slowly letting it out as I carefully took out a hardcover copy of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass”. Looking up at my mom, I gave her my biggest smile, hugged her tightly and whispered, “Thank you.”

I took my precious package and skipped off to the couch, where I promptly jumped down the rabbit hole to join Alice in her many adventures in that wacky world—where the unimaginable happened. I grinned back at the Cheshire cat, attended a tea party hosted by the Mad Hatter and gasped at the thought of a beheading—simply because the Queen of Hearts had mandated it.

Not long afterwards, my mom came home with yet another treasure and a similar scenario played. This time, I hopped onto the magic carpet, grabbing its edges tightly so as not to fall off, and I soared above Persia with Aladdin and Jasmine.

Thus, began my love for prose. I spent countless hours at the local library, coming home with stacks of books. Back then, I didn’t know that not every neighborhood has a library. Not every child has books. And not every child could read.

It’s heartwarming to watch my own children deeply engrossed in adventures in lands near and far, and to read the beginnings of plots in worlds of their own imagining.

Childhood literacy is therefore a cause that’s dear to my own family’s hearts.

The following nonprofit organizations work to promote literacy on varying levels:

First Books

First Book’s mission is to provide “access to new books for children in need” and it has been doing so since 1992—when it was launched by Founder and President Kyle Zimmer, and two friends. During its first year, 12,000 books were distributed. Today, over 18,000 books are distributed daily in the U.S. and Canada.

Through arrangements with its publishing partners, donations of $10 provide four books for children in need. In the spirit of giving, Disney Publishing Worldwide will match every $1 donated with an additional new book—until December 31, 2011. Please click here for more details on how you can help.

Reading is Fundamental (RIF)

Dedicated to fostering a love of reading for kids primarily from birth to 8 years old in underserved areas, Reading is Fundamental (RIF) works with parents and community members by delivering new books and implementing literacy initiatives.

The largest literacy nonprofit for kids in the U.S., RIF receives funds from foundations, community groups, companies and individuals. Help RIF bring books to the nearly two thirds of low-income households who do not own books. Please visit their website for more information.

Books for Asia

With the mission of “working to build a peaceful, prosperous and open Asia-Pacific Region”, the Asia Foundation has various projects, including Books for Asia.

Since it was founded in 1954, over 45 million books have been distributed to 18 countries at a rate of over one million brand new books per year.

Examples of the nations that have benefited from the Books for Asia project are:

  • the Philippines – where nearly 145,000 books have been distributed to over 2,000 schools, day care centers, NGOs and government agencies throughout the country
  • Malaysia – where 19,000 books have been acquired and distributed to nearly 700 schools
  • Mongolia – where 2,500 copies of children’s books about the country’s constitution have been printed and distributed to the nation’s schools

Click here for more details about the various Books for Asia projects.

Editorial Creatives is grateful for nonprofit organizations, such as First Books and Reading is Fundamental, and for projects, like Books for Asia. With their collective efforts and through your donations, children in the neediest areas will gain access to books that have the power to spark the imagination, and positively impact tomorrow’s leaders.

We invite you to share your thoughts. What organizations are tugging at your heartstrings?

If you have a blog and want to get involved, please check here for details. Join us on Facebook, and please help spread the word by sharing this post on your Facebook wall or your Twitter feed #TBGB. Thank you for your support.

Please peruse the other great posts from participating Travel Bloggers. You’ll find an array of charity work going on all around this beautiful world.

Related Posts: