Nickelodeon may not be the first brand you think of when you think “Literacy Promotion,” so it may surprise you to find they are the backbone behind the latest Champions for Kids Simple Service Project. I think that’s awesome! This month’s project is very dear to my heart: providing books for kids who don’t have easy access to them.
I want to give you a little glimpse into our lives. This is a portion of my living room (not show are two other cases of books in this very room):
And this is a peek into Craig’s study, our kitchen, the master bedroom, and the “bonus” room in the back:
What you DON’T see are all the other random places we have books placed around the house. Clearly books are a major priority in our house, and clearly we’ve had the ability to gather as many as we have over the years. This isn’t the case for many families and many kids don’t have this kind of access to books, whether they want to or not. Take a look at these stats from the Champion for Kids website:
- Students who do more reading at home are better readers and have higher math scores. Students with more types of reading materials in the home also demonstrate greater reading proficiency.
- 67% of fourth graders in the U.S. are reading below a Proficient level, according to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress.
- 61% of low-income families have no books for children in their homes, and more than 80% of the preschool and after-school programs serving at-risk children have no books at all.
- Approximately 8.7 million fourth through twelfth grade students struggle with required reading and writing tasks in school. For many adolescent students, ongoing difficulties with reading and writing figure prominently in the decision to drop out of school.
Y’all, that sounds crazy, but I know it’s true. What’s also true is that we can help. I’m in the process of collecting books to donate to NOVO Ministries here in Oklahoma City. NOVO provides many important services for inner-city kids and one of those services is after school tutoring. You can imagine that their resources are stretched and they are thrilled to take any book donations we can offer!
I started by purchasing a few books from Walmart to donate (check out my Walmart shopping trip via this Google + photo album here!). My plan was to add a Nickelodeon book to the stash, but there weren’t very many appropriate options for this particular mission – they were all activity books or musical books, which didn’t seem like the right choice for an after-school tutoring program.
In addition to these, I’ll be doing through all the shelves pictured above and choosing another big stash that my kids have outgrown a bit to add to our donation collection. I’m also going to ask folks at our school and church to do the same. I’m hoping to give a nice big library to NOVO to share with all the kids they serve each week!
Did you know YOU can do the same? Check it out:
- GATHER your friends, family, and co-workers by hosting a Nickelodeon Big Help Book Drive! Ask each person to bring books and magazines that are appropriate for children.
- LEARN about the literacy needs of children in your community by asking a teacher or social worker to speak to your group.
- GIVE the books and magazine to the teacher or community representative for his or her students. Help children discover the joy of reading and lead happier lives!
Do you have a stash of kids’ books lying around collecting dust at your house? DONATE THEM TO KIDS WHO CAN USE THEM!! Sure, it’s awesome to gather your friends together and collect a really big pile-o-books, but if all you really can do right now is collect from your own personal stash, THEN DO IT. There are kids out there who need you to.
I’m going to collect books over the next week. If you are in the #OKC area and want to connect with me on picking up your donation, let me know! I’m happy to come to you! I’ll be reporting back next week with our donation totals. In the meantime, please be thinking about how you can get involved in your own community. There are some future doctors and teachers and parents and… you know, the next generation, who will thank you for thinking of them when they were young and in need of resources.
Be sure to check out the organizers of this Simple Service Project right here:
- Champions for Kids on Twitter
- Champions for Kids on Facebook
- Nickelodeon on Facebook
- Nickelodeon on Twitter
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Champions for Kids. #NickCFK #CBias. All opinions expressed in this post really are my own honest thoughts. I keep a proper disclosure statement available here.