Monday, March 22, 2010

Book Drive

Spring is officially here and I for one am psyched! There’s something about the fresh air and sunshine that actually make me feel more energetic and motivated … to deep clean my house. Yes, I have big plans for Spring Cleaning this year, including some serious purging of surplus toys and books that are scattered about every room of our home.

Which is why I was so excited to learn of the The
Half Pint Book Drive currently underway. Across the U.S., Half Price Books stores are working to collect and distribute children’s books to those in need. New and gently used books donated through this program help provide inspiration for children from low-income families, while helping to boost literacy skills outside of school. In many cases, children are getting their first book through the Half Pint program. The drive accepts any type of children’s book, including Spanish language books, as long as they are in good condition. The program is now in its 12th year and has collected more than 2 million books for community centers, special schools and many more children in need.

The Half Pint Book Drive ends March 31st. If you’re like me, I know you have at least a few (or more than a few) children’s books that are worth sharing and passing on. Visit Half Price Books to find a neighborhood drop-off location near you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Literacy 24/7

Many thanks to my new friends at the Literacy Network for including me in last week's Literacy 24/7 line-up! It was truly a pleasure to be included in such a great event. I met some adorable kids and lost count of all the yummy allergy-friendly cookies I ate provided by Enjoy Life Foods. I highly recommend the Gingerbread Spice ... a must for any pantry, even for families without food allergies!

My favorite part (aside from meeting all the wonderful people who came out to hear a reading of The BugaBees at Willy Street Co-op) was meeting award-winning author Kevin Henkes. His picture books, in a word, are AMAZING and our family absolutely loves them all. It was an honor for me to chat with him a bit, and guess what? He shared with me that while growing up, his brothers had food allergies. Yet again, another reminder that the topic of food allergies is relevant and universal pretty much wherever you go.

Although the week of Literacy 24/7 has come to a close, fundraising for this important cause still continues. The Literacy Network organization is a broad collection of community members comprised of more than 400 volunteers, 1,200 learners and 30 partner agencies working to improve reading, writing and language skills in Dane County. Please consider supporting their noble efforts with a donation today. Open a book. Change a Life. Support literacy programs in your neighborhood.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Read Across America

Happy Read Across America Day! And thanks to all the students at St. Francis Xavier school for a wonderful author visit. One of my favorite things we did in honor of Reading Awareness Month was send cards to the Cat in the Hat in celebration of 50 years of Dr. Seuss. In exchange for every online card the Cat receives until June 30, Random House will donate one book (up to 2 million) to the nonprofit organization First Book. First Book's mission is to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. Please support their work in communities nationwide, and send the Cat a birthday wish today!