In many parts of the world, March is a month that honors the power of words, books, and literacy. In the USA it is National Reading Month and here in Beijing we are blessed with two literary festivals at The Bookworm bookstore and Capital M restaurant. It is a rare chance to hear from the authors we love, gain insights into the creative process and, well, stock up on more books for our children and ourselves.
Unfortunately, for much of the world’s children, access to books is not easy to come by due to the absence of libraries. This is precisely the situation two young educators from the USA, Rebecca and Josh Rousculp (good friends of the author) discovered when they moved their young family of four to the town of San Francisco de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. Instead of lamenting about the problem, they decided to work with their community to build a library that addresses the needs of the citizens. They have the staff, the volunteers, community support, and the knowhow to make the library a reality. What they need are the funds to make the dream come true.
With a goal of just $19,000, the San Francisco de Macoris community will be able find a space, hire a local library coordinator, purchase table and chairs, and acquire more books and materials to stock the shelves. To reach it, the community has turned to the internet to crowd-source the funds and you are invited to get involved. They have already reached 30% of the goal and are trying to close the gap in the next three weeks. Donations of as little as 1 dollar are being accepted and there are “perks” for donations at any level: USA10 will land you an electronic copy of I am an Illegal Immigrant” written by Rebecca Rousculp, USA50 lets you adopt-a-reader, USA150 will land you some Santo Domingo coffee, just to name a few. These and more also can land your name on the library mural of hippest people on the planet.
To find out more on how to get involved (there is even a way to donate books via a USA address), visit their site on the Indiegogo.com website here. Knowing that just 10 dollars can officially make you one of the hippest people on the planet is reward itself, but helping kids learn to read is priceless.
photo by Flickr user daydream.queen