November is Picture Book Month. To celebrate, I'm kicking off a month-long Holiday Picture Book Drive benefitting young Chicago readers.
During the month of November, I will collect as many picture books as possible for Leading with Literacy, a read-aloud focused non-profit based in Bronzeville, a neighborhood on Chicago's South Side.
Michael Neal, Senior Pastor of Glorious Light Church, launched Leading with Literacy (as Real Men Read) in the 2011-12 school year with the goal of building scholars, one book at a time. Here's Pastor Neal (below) with a group of fantastic kids.
Leading with Literacy places male volunteers as weekly readers in primary grade classrooms. In just six years, the program has expanded to include year-round readers in 10 Chicago Public Schools, as well as schools in Phoenix and Cinncinnati. Phenomenal work!
When Leading with Literacy receives book donations, Pastor Neal immediately gives them to kids, so that they can take them home and make them part of their world. This holiday season, my goal is to get books into the hands of as many Leading with Literacy classroom kids as possible.
Would you like to help? Because that would be fantastic!
- Authors & Publishers: We would love to accept your picture book donations. Individual titles would be wonderful. Even better? Donating 30 copies of a single book, so that an entire CPS class can take home a copy of your book. (We would be sure to take photos of the class with your book, so you could see the title/s connecting with young readers.)
- Friends & Family: If you would like to purchase a copy of your favorite picture book and send it to me, I will make sure it gets to a child who participates in Leading with Literacy. Or, if you too would like to sponsor an entire CPS class, that would be extremely generous... and wonderful!
- Spread the Word: Share this post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, so that as many as possible can join in on the effort.
To participate, send me a message through my Contact page, and we'll get the ball rolling on your special delivery!
A few notes:
- I'll document the Holiday Picture Book Drive as the books come in. This will include photos and videos on my blog and in my Twitter feed (@anitraschulte).
- Please donate new books only. Think of the book you give as a Christmas gift... because it is!
- Parents and grandparents, involving the littles in your life in researching and selecting books could be a fun holiday activity.
- Finally, it would be tremendous to receive diverse books. It's so very important for kids to see themselves in the characters that they read about.
Thank you for considering playing a part in this holiday event. I can't wait to see what November will bring. Remember that no gift is too small: Just one book will make a child's Christmas so special.
Corinna Luyken, author/illustrator of The Book of Mistakes, and the team at Penguin donated 30 copies of her amazing book:
Basak Agaoglu, author/illustrator of The Almost Impossible Thing, donated 30 copies of this inspiring title, in partnership with the team at Philomel Books:
Rachel Ruiz, author of When Penny Met POTUS, and publisher Capstone donated 30 copies of their fun White House adventure, with a twist.
Tim Miller, author/illustrator of Moo Moo in a Tutu, and the fabulous team at Balzer + Bray shared 30 copies of this adventure of Moo Moo and Mr. Quackers.
Dev Petty, author of I Don't Want to be Big, Claymates and There's Nothing to Do donated six books for Leading with Literacy:
Author Robin Newman donated 5 copies of her darling and bewitching tale Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep:
The authors or illustrators of these beautiful books have committed donations (in some cases multiple copies):
And 30 copies of each of these books have been donated - that means 6 entire CPS classrooms will get the same book!
And these books have been donated by friends of Holiday Picture Book Drive (some lovely folks sent multiple copies of these titles - thank you!):