Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thank You Crossroads Academy!

The work done by Reader to Reader would not be possible without all the wonderful book drives conducted by schools, churches and synagogues, civic groups and individuals.

A special thank you this week goes out to Crossroads Academy in Lyme, New Hampshire. Their book drive conducted by the second grade class collected a truckload of wonderful children’s books that are now headed for schools in low-income communities.

Well done!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Your Vacation

Children attending Brightwood Elementary in Springfield, Massachusetts took home 400 books donated by Reader to Reader as they headed off for winter vacation.

The Book Your Vacation book giveaway helps children that don’t own any books make reading a part of their school vacation.

Over 60% of low-income families do not have a single book in their home.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Adding Their Voices to End Violence Against Women

This Valentine’s Day, parents from the DiscoverBooks program at Kelly School in Holyoke, Massachusetts added their voices to the call to end violence against women at the One Billion Rising event in Springfield. This event was part of the international V-Day feminist movement founded by Eve Ensler, which deplores the fact that one in three women across the world will experience rape or physical abuse in her lifetime. The V-Day campaign this year called for a billion women and men around the globe to walk out and dance in protest of the violence.

Before the outing, the mothers in the program discussed the important women in their lives, citing mothers, grandmothers and friends as their sources of strength. As a group we came to the consensus that we wouldn’t be where we were today if it weren’t for the love and sacrifices of these women in our lives. We then acknowledged another commonality: that we all knew women and girls who had suffered sexual or physical violence. Dancing to protest this violence was a great way to spend our Valentine’s Day afternoon. We danced with anger at the violence, but we also danced with hope—hope that our dancing would contribute to crafting a more peaceful world for women.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hands Up If You Want A Book

Reader to Reader’s WorldRead student group at Navajo Pine High School in Navajo, New Mexico, held a big book giveaway at Navajo Elementrary School.

Hundreds of kids were excited to get books that they could take home and keep.

The dedicated club members went from classroom to classroom giving away new children's books that were supplied by Reader to Reader. They also gave away books to kids eating their lunches in the cafeteria.

WorldRead clubs are Reader to Reader’s volunteer student organizations for both high school and college students. Participants read to children and give out hundreds of books donated by Reader to Reader. They also boost their own reading skills through a book discussion group, and work on other literacy projects that they design and implement.

For information on establishing a WorldRead club at your high school or college, please write to

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

WriteMe to Boost English-Language Proficiency in Zimbabwe

Reader to Reader is pleased to announce its 2013 Springboard Program project, WriteMe.

The project is designed to boost English-language proficiency among high school students in Zimbabwe.

About WriteMe

For students in Zimbabwe, English reading and writing proficiency are crucial skills that are imperative to their academic and professional development. Unfortunately, for a large number of students in rural Zimbabwe, English is not their first or second language. This is due to a lack of necessary resources such as books and textbooks that help to develop student’s literacy. As a result many schools located in remote areas across Zimbabwe have witnessed several of their students fail English exams and drop out of school.

“Most of our students are unable to progress to the next level of their studies because they fail their English reading and writing exams. Usually most drop out of school instead of repeating their studies because of financial constraints,” laments the deputy headmaster of Ndanga High School in Birchenough Bridge, Zimbabwe.

Developed by Amherst College sophomore Courage Matiza, a citizen of Zimbabwe, WriteMe hopes to aid in the development of these reading and writing skills by providing the necessary resources to students.

“I believe literacy is a powerful tool to break the poverty cycle in rural Zimbabwe as it empowers young Zimbabweans with the skills to develop their communities. Indeed, to give a child a pen and book is to arm them and their community for the future,” Matiza says.

WriteMe will provide the space and resources needed to develop reading and writing skills by building and renovating libraries in remote schools. These libraries will be platforms where students engage with the literary world. Through provision of domestic and international reading materials we seek to open out a world of opportunities for students.

A key component is the WriteMe essay writing competition, which offers an opportunity for students to showcase their writing skills and an incentive for students to be engaged in the writing process.

WriteMe hopes to amplify the voices of these young Zimbabweans by publishing these stories in the form of e-books and paper books and distribute them to a global audience.

Also planned are reading and writing training workshops that aim to develop students’ literacy skills. These workshops will serve as platforms on to not only train students to master the basics of writing, but also expose them to opportunities in the world of literature.

The first WriteMe essay competition will take place from February 15, 2013 to March 20, 2013 at Ndanga High School in Birchenough, Zimbabwe.

In addition, the project hopes to renovate the Ndanga High School’s library in July 2013.

If you want to support WriteMe visit its Crowdrise fundrasing page at

About the Springboard Program

The Springboard Program brings college students into the world of non-profit work through the development and implementation of their own international or domestic literacy project. This program guides students through the entire process, teaching them the skills necessary to lead their own literacy project and giving them unparalleled leadership opportunity.

For more information visit