From the time that our children are infants, we read to them. The fact that they are virtually color-blind with a six inch range of focus doesn’t deter us from presenting fuzzy, squeaky, shiny board books in a variety of voices for hours on end. As they get older, these babies are coached into phonemic awareness by an army of alphabet and Bob books until we finally create readers. I think most parents can relate to the feeling of an imaginary box being checked off when your child can finally read independently, but perhaps the better question at this point is, “How do we continue to promote a love of reading?”
Books have quite the competition these days… “Mom, do you have a book in your purse?” said no kid EVER, the last time they were stuck in a waiting room. It seems that even toddlers know how to demand a smartphone within a nanosecond of downtime. So how can a parent put a fresh twist on books and bring back the excitement?
Recently, publishing mogul Penguin Group teamed up with the non-profit Pearson Foundation to establish a web-based initiative, armed with the sole purpose of putting books into the hands of more kids. We Give Books strives to inspire a spirit of giving and foster a lifelong love of reading by providing hundreds of free books online.
Through strategic partnerships, We Give Books offers a mix of fiction and nonfiction books, appropriate for ages 0-10. The user interface is simple and intuitive, allowing even savvy, little fingers to sort titles by age range, genre, or author. Although the full-screen presentations that gleam as bright and vivid as ink-dyed paper require a full version of Adobe Flash that is not mobile device compatible, there are about half a dozen books that can be viewed on an iOS or Android mobile device.
In three short years, We Give Books has donated almost 2 Million books to children through partnering with companies like Leapfrog and Jumpstart to inspire action through annual, school-based literacy events, drives, and donations. Year-round, the 501(c)(3) organization donates two books to one of their world wide literacy partners for every $5 it receives in donations.
This month, Hyatt Hotels has partnered with We Give Books to launch their Commit To Thrive campaign, which encourages people to take a pledge to make a positive difference in their community. For each pledge taken, up to 35,000, Hyatt has committed to donate a book to a child in need.
Click on the image below, and a book will be donated to a child through the
Commit To Thrive campaign, which runs April 1-30, 2013:
Whether it gives a book to a child in need, inspires the adoption of a structured summer reading program, or simply makes books “cool” to kids by incorporating an element of tech, there is no doubt that We Give Books is, indeed, making a positive impact with children everywhere.
What type of positive change did you pledge to make?