When I was a kid, I had a lot of dreams. Mostly about what I wanted to do when I grew up. I dreamed of being a scientist when I got a microscope for Christmas. I dreamed of being a singer when I did my chores (singing all the while). I dreamed of being a figure ice skater even though I had never been ice skating (it was beautiful and looked fun). I played school (teacher) and office (secretary) and family (mommy). Between every new dream, I always came back to my #1 dream: to be a writer!
At some point, I dreamed of running a marathon. I have now run two! (Gonna run an ultra when I turn 50!) I now have two published books. I also teach other writers how to write novels. And while I’m basically living my dreams, at some point I realized I wouldn’t have reached any of them if I didn’t know how to read.
My new dream is a big one that I’ll never be able to reach all by myself: end world illiteracy. The U.S. statistics alone are utterly shocking.
For example, 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read. ONE IN FOUR!?! How is that even possible?!?
I believe that when a person can read, they can do ANYTHING! That being able to read is a basic human right. Following my own passions and going after my dreams is a huge part of my identity and I really want to help others be able to do the same thing.
I have a plan, but it’s going to take a long time to implement and reach my big scary audacious goal of ending world illiteracy. I’ll need a new mission, a large team, new customers, and plenty of extra money to donate to existing literacy charities. All in good time, my friend, all in good time. In the meantime, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite charities.
Best List of Literacy Charities
This is a list of my top 10 literacy organizations that I plan to (eventually) donate to on a regular basis.
Evidence Based Literacy Instruction (EBLI)
Provides teachers with research-based theory, skills, and concepts to effectively teach students how to read.
Provides books to low-income communities to prepare preschool children for reading and learning success.
John Corcoran Foundation
Dedicated to eradicating illiteracy and sub-literacy through teaching adults and children how to read.
National Coalition for Literacy
Advances adult education and family literacy.
Promotes adult literacy through content development, programs, and advocacy.
Reading is Fundamental (RIF)
Supports literacy programs nationwide and aims to put books in the hands of underprivileged children in America.
Parents in prison record a bedtime story for their child to share the joy of storytelling from behind bars.
The Pajama Program
Gives the gift of sleepwear and a bedtime book to children, with a large portion of donations going to children who have been, or are waiting to be, adopted.
United Through Reading
Offers deployed military parents the opportunity to video record themselves reading storybooks to their children to help ease the difficulty of separation and cultivate a love of reading.
World Literacy Foundation
Works to lift young people out of poverty through literacy by operating on the principle that education is a basic human right.
Keep writing, keep running. AND KEEP READING.
TWEET THIS: 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read.
Christie Wright Wild
Founder, Writers Who Run
Creator, Plot Like a Novelist
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