In celebration of improving literacy in 2020, we are sharing five amazing charities with you who all work to help kids around the world access more books. They all focus on different groups and have different methods but are unified in their desire to help kids read. We love that!
Indigenous Literary Foundation
The Indigenous Literary Foundation (ILF) was founded by Suzy Wilson. Suzy is a former teacher and education consultant who owns Riverbend Books. The ILF is a not-for-profit reading charity which respects the unique place of Australia's first people and draws on the expertise of the Australian book industry.
They distribute books to children in remote Australian communities as well as running programs to encourage reading. Amazingly, they have given 350,000 books to over 280 remote communities. Plus they support communities to publish their own stories.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that sends free books to children. They help kids up to age five in communities within the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Republic of Ireland.
Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write Dolly started her Imagination Library in 1995 for the children within her home county. Today, her program spans four countries and mails over 1 million free books each month to children around the world.
Room to read
Room to Read focuses on literacy and gender equality in education. The nonprofit reading charity works with local villages to build schools and libraries filled with children's books. In fact, their range stretches across South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Additionally, Room to Read develops programs to support girls and encourage them to pursue an education. They’ve helped over 16.8 million children worldwide.
Project Night Night
Each year, Project Night Night sends over 25,000 "Night Night Packages" to homeless children. Each Night Night Package contains a new security blanket, an age- appropriate children’s book, and a stuffed animal — all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag. The packages help these kids in need "feel secure, cozy, ready to learn, and significant".
Project Night Night reduces trauma and advances the emotional and cognitive well-being of the children they serve. I love that you can give items as well as donate funds to help.
World Reader: Giving the gift of Reading with David Risher
World reader was founded by David Risher along with his good friend Colin McElwee in Barcelona in 2010. The idea was to start a literacy charity working exclusively with digital books.
David visited an orphanage in Ecuador and discovered an unused library. Why? Simply because they lacked useful reading material. This led to a conversation with Colin about e-readers and digital books. And how they could be used to more efficiently to give kids in remote and under-served parts of the world access to books that they would actually read.
Whilst they started with just 20 kindle readers and a test project in Ghana, now they help 50,000 children read every month in 50 countries around the world.
Kickstarting 2020 with a donation to a Reading Charity, A Great Antidote to the Festive Season
I hope that you’ve been inspired by our amazing reading and children’s literacy organisations. These groups do so much to help children around the world. Even if you’re not in a position to donate you can still help them this year. All you need to do is follow them and share their work with your friends and family. You can also stay in touch with our books and our work by joining up to our children’s books or publishing newsletters and following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.