Thursday, September 15, 2011

Support literacy!

Growing up, I was always encouraged by my parents to read. I have many fond memories of cuddling up on their big bed while they read me story books I'd borrowed from the class library.

Although I had an allowance that I was supposed to use to buy things I wanted for myself, books were always an exception. Pretty much every time the Scholastic book catalogue/order forms came from the school, I could count on getting at least a book or two. They also gave me extra pocket money to buy books from the school library book fairs.

Most recently, last year, they gave me a Kobo eReader for a Christmas present.

Not only did my parents support my reading habits, but I was also lucky to go to schools close by public libraries. In junior high school and the years in high school before my brother and I got a car, I often spent the couple of hours after school waiting for my father to come pick me up at the library.

Since reading has been and continues to be a big part of my life, I strongly believe in the importance of encouraging reading and literacy, particularly in children.

So here are some great and easy ways that I've come across to support literacy in your local community and around the world:

Indigo Adopt a School (Sept 11-Oct 1, 2011)

Did you know that most of our school budgets don't allow for one book per child?
The Indigo Adopt a School program helps puts more books in the hands of children by partnering with the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation. Its power is in the grassroots outreach between Indigo stores and a school in their community they raise money for. To date, we have raised over $533,000 to put more than 46,000 books into the hands of children at 305 schools across Canada. 

1. Choose a local school to support.
We’ve identified over 150 schools across Canada that need your help. For every 100 supporters of your school, Indigo will give a book to its library.

2. Give books by donating, or buying an Indigo e-gift card. 
For every $25 gift card purchased, Indigo will donate one book to your school - you can redeem the full value in any Indigo Chapters Coles store or at You can also make a direct donation - every $12 will give a book.

3. Become a top fundraiser by spreading the word.
Tell your family & friends and get credit for every person that gives a book. The top fundraiser for each school gets a $25 Indigo gift card. Top three fundraisers in Canada will receive a Kobo eReader!

We Give Books

Sign up to read children's books online for FREE. One book will be donated to a campaign of your choice for each book you finishing reading online. Read classics such as "The Tale of Peter Rabbit," "Madeline" and "The Snowy Day," or new titles such as "You Can't Go to School Naked" and "Goodnight Goon."

Better World Books

Better World Books collects and sells books online to fund literacy initiatives worldwide. With more than 8 million new and used titles in stock, we’re a self-sustaining, triple-bottom-line company that creates social, economic and environmental value for all our stakeholders.

All books are available with free shipping worldwide. And in case you're concerned about your eco-footprint, every order shipped from Mishawaka is carbon balanced with Green-e Climate certified offsets from 3Degrees, a leading green power and carbon balancing services firm.

Here’s the best part: In addition to selling new titles, Better World Books supports book drives and collects used books and textbooks through a network of over 1,800 college campuses and partnerships with over 2,000 libraries nationwide. So far, the company has converted more than 53 million books into over $8.6 million in funding for literacy and education. In the process, we’ve also diverted more than 26,000 tons of books from landfills.

Because we believe that most every book has lasting value and the potential to help change the world, we see our job as helping to find new homes for unwanted books. Thus far, we’ve donated 3.3 million books to partner programs around the world. Our five primary literacy partners are Books for Africa, Room to Read, Worldfund, the National Center for Family Literacy, and Invisible Children. Good company, no doubt.

Every book purchased from Better World Books contributes to individual literacy throughout the world and the promise of a better life. Clearly, we can’t do this work without our customers. That's why we’re so passionate about trying to offer the best price, selection, customer service, and overall shopping experience.

[For a true story about Better World Books' superior customer service check out my blog post from July 11, 2009:]