Posted by admin on 02.28.2011 at 1:47 pm
Earlier this month, we asked for your reading recommendations for Black History Month. Well, you didn’t let us down!
Let’s start with the shout outs. Thanks to Nancy J. Sukhia and Peter from the blog, and Gayle Smith Stuhrburg, Becca Snyder Loli, Sharon Klein Gorley, Kris Brassell Miller, Amy Halvorson Miller, Mary Clonts, Holly Bishop, Luciana Nechita, extra super thanks to Karen Rogers-Robinson (8 recommendations!), Kevin Taylor Jones, and Karen Miner from Facebook.
And here are your recommendations! Read more…
6 Comments » | Tagged Book Lists, BHM, Black History Month, Recommended Reading
Posted by admin on 02.25.2011 at 10:23 am
THANK YOU CUSTOMERS AND BWB COMMUNITY! Because of you, Better World Books has just launched LEAP! LEAP stands for Literacy and Education in Action Program, and this initiative helps make targeted, high-impact literacy projects happen all over the world.
Since our foundation in 2003, Better World Books raised over $9M in funds for literacy so far. Most of these funds have been given to our non-profit and library partners as non-restricted funding; meaning that it’s up to these world-class organizations to find the best ways to use these funds.
The LEAP is different. This new program will be designated for specific projects. Projects which you will now be able to track, start to finish at www.betterworldbooks.com/LEAP. It’s one thing to hear that a portion of every purchase you make on www.BetterWorldBooks.com goes to support literacy, but we thought it was important for our community to be able to see and hear the stories behind projects, to see evidence of the impact we’re making together.
3 Comments » | Tagged Uncategorized
Posted by admin on 02.24.2011 at 1:18 pm
- by David Murphy, CEO
Tomorrow morning at 9:00 am EST we will announce the winners of our first ever LEAP Awards (Literacy and Education in Action Program). There will be seven non-profit organizations who will collectively receive a total of $125,000 in funding from Better World Books. While the vast majority of our funding to our Non-Profit Literacy Partners and our library partners is unrestricted (meaning they can use the monies from Better World Books as they best see fit), the LEAP Awards will be used for very specific/targeted funding of pre-defined programs and/or initiatives. The funding for these LEAP Awards is part of our mission and brand promise to fund literacy and education from the sale of each and every book. Specifically, this restricted funding comes primarily from the sale of our any book that we acquire for which there is not an NPLP Partner or library pre-defined as the beneficiary of the sale of that book.
We will share with you who our winners are; the specific projects we are funding; and the dollar amounts of each of the seven grants. We are creating a section on our website that will launch tomorrow as well, and we will use this section going forward to Read more…
1 Comment » | Tagged Uncategorized
Posted by admin on 02.22.2011 at 1:28 pm
-By Laura Rocca, BWB Employee
In December, we at Better World Books held our annual Peanut Butter Drive to support our local chapter of the Salvation Army. Why would the Salvation Army need peanut butter, you ask? Every year, the Salvation Army hands out food boxes to needy families around the area.
“The food we supply families at Christmas is meant not only to provide a holiday meal, but also to supplement the food items that many children aren’t getting from school when they are off for two weeks. Because, unfortunately, 70% of schoolchildren in South Bend public schools rely on free or reduced-price breakfast and lunches. So that is where peanut butter comes in – it provides the nutrition for those breakfast/lunch meals and it is ubiquitously enjoyed,” says Liz Kurtz, the Social Services Director of St. Joseph County’s Salvation Army.
So, we split our employees into ten teams, Read more…
5 Comments » | Tagged Uncategorized
Posted by admin on 02.17.2011 at 3:03 pm
February is Black History Month, and that means it’s time to share the books that have interested, informed, and inspired you. Here are a few of our recommendations:
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf
by Ntozake Shange
A series of 20 poems expressing the struggles and obstacles facing contemporary African-American women throughout their lives. This play, performed on Broadway and adapted as a film, deals with many of the hot-button issues that we face today, and does so with beautiful imagery and powerful characters.
— Eddie Porrello, Performance Marketing
At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance–A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power
by Danielle L. McGuire
A new look at the civil rights movement. This book is for anyone interested in history in general, black history, aggression and its horrid impact on society, women’s rights, women’s lib., or feminism. And as always black history is a branch of American history which should be integrated into American history in general, as all American peoples’ histories are of equal importance… we must embrace even the ugliest of truths if we wish to move forward as a united people.
— Nick Martin, QA
The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
Marian Anderson gained international fame for her awe-inspiring contralto voice throughout Europe, sang for kings and queens, but returned to her home in America and was denied entrance to the Constitutional Hall because she was “colored”. Her appearance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before a crowd of 75,000 people of all races is a moment in history that should NEVER be forgotten. This exemplifies that beauty (in all its forms) knows no race or cultural limitations. Many of our youth do not even know who Marion Anderson was, her story should be brought to light.
—Barbara G. Barrett, Scanning Supervisor
So what’s your recommended reading for Black History Month? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll round up the best comments from here, Facebook, and Twitter, and post them a few days from now here on the blog.
9 Comments » | Tagged Book Lists, Black History Month
Posted by admin on 02.16.2011 at 6:06 pm
Recently, a group of BWB employees and two of our Librarian partners volunteered to do some hands-on work with the National Center for Family Literacy on the West Coast. Turns out, it was an awesome experience. Here’s what one of our Librarian friends learned as she worked with adult literacy students at Lazear Elementary. We turn the floor over to Deborah George of Gwinnet County Public Library.
What I learned with the Green Egg Lovers (a.k.a. Gaylynne and the adult students at Lazear Elementary!)
-by Deborah George
1. If you’re going get out of your comfort zone and try new things, it may take some coaxing, persistence, and mutual participation from others (and sometimes a lot of blind faith in a GPS!)
2. Even books we’ve known for ages are new again when we read them with new friends.
3. Each of us is proud when we master a new skill – lots of grins say a lot.
4. It is always inspiring to see teams offer encouragement and celebrate each other’s accomplishments.
5. We all have a personal story we’d be willing to share, given a safe place and the right moment.
How you can help
There are many ways to support literacy efforts and the teachers or volunteers working with literacy students and their families, but we can all start very simply:
Be a witness – Show an interest and appreciation of the hard work of students and teachers, and share your observations with others who may not be aware of daily dedication and enthusiasm displayed in these often modest, unassuming classrooms.
Invite others and pass it on – Share front line experiences with your friends, family and co-workers; enabling others with the ability to read and understand their world is a profound gift, made even more valuable as it is shared many times and in many places.
Have your say » | Tagged Literacy Trips
Posted by admin on 02.10.2011 at 12:45 pm
[This post is for people who do not hate Valentine's Day. If you do hate Valentine's Day, check out the opposite post here.]
So… Valentine’s Day! Am I right?
There’s certainly something in the air this time of year, some element missing from the periodic table of emotions. Element Lv, whose smoochtacular properties are unrivaled. You know. Vitamin L.
I’m talking about Love, here, people. With a capital L-U-V.
It’s almost Spring, when, as Tennyson once said, “a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Kinda feels like the planets are aligning, doesn’t it? Like conditions are right… to read a romance novel. Or fourteen! Read more…
3 Comments » | Tagged Book Lists, loooooove, romance, valentines day
Posted by admin on 02.10.2011 at 12:44 pm
[This post is for people who do not like Valentine's Day. If you like Valentine's Day, check out the opposite post here.]
If the first words that come into your mind when you think of February 14th are any of the below:
…then you have arrived at the correct Blog Post.
Fie on Valentine’s Day. For real. If you consider the history, Valentine’s Day has more to do with decapitation than osculation. How did we get from religious martyr to winged baby causing people to get googly-eyes when struck by armor-piercing projectiles? All that lovey-dovey mush is for the birds. Read more…
5 Comments » | Tagged Uncategorized, fie, Pffffffft, sheeple, valentines day
Posted by admin on 02.09.2011 at 5:29 pm
Recently, a group of BWB employees and two of our Librarian partners visited the West Coast do some hands-on work with the National Center for Family Literacy. Turns out, it was awesome. Our employees will be sharing their learnings and experiences on this blog, shedding light on the process of fostering literacy in the US.
Here’s one from Jozi Hall, National Account Manager
I spent the week volunteering at the Manzanita Schools with Eddie Porello, our Performance Marketing Specialist, Emily Kirkpatrick, Vice President for the National Center for Family Literacy, David Murphy, our CEO, and Kathleen Stacey from the University of Hawaii Hilo Library, one of our librarian trip winners. We got to work with students at both of the schools at Manzanita: the Manzanita Community School and Manzanita SEED, a two way immersion program in Spanish and English. Sam Davis, the adult-class teacher and our gracious host, created an ambitious schedule for us that including everything from refinishing benches to helping second graders with their model volcano science project and helping language-learner parents create new projects.
We attended an orientation session to learn more about the community and the work of Oakland Adult and Career Education. My favorite part of the orientation was our Polish lesson, which gave us an idea of what it is like for the adult language learners we would be working with. It takes a lot of courage and concentration to learn another language as an adult.
We finished the day with a lovely dinner at Bistro Boudin at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf . Our dinner hostess, Michelle East-Krull, is a University of San Francisco Student and we were happy to learn that she is a customer and fan of Better World Books!
1 Comment » | Tagged Literacy Trips, Impact, literacy
Posted by admin on 02.04.2011 at 6:12 pm
Even though we raise money for literacy with every sale, there’s no substitute for experiencing a literacy initiative first hand. That’s why twice a year BWB sends a randomly selected group of employees far from our headquarters to work with our non-profit partners “in the field.”This past summer, employees traveled to Africa with Books for Africa and Invisible Children – you can read about their experiences here.
Right now, a different group of employees is focusing on domestic literacy with a trip to the West Coast organized by the National Center for Family Literacy. We even had the opportunity to bring two librarians from our library partners with us this time. The NCFL set-up some excellent work for us to do, and the first hand accounts are just starting to come in.
Here’s one from our CFO, Paul Sansone:
Monday we hit it early at a 7AM meeting with NCFL previewing the week, then broke up into our 4 teams and headed out to Oakland Public Elementary schools (Garfield, Manzanita, Greenleaf, and Lazear). My team is at Garfield Elementary and we’ve been working with about 15 parents (all Moms) of students at the school, aiding in teaching them English. We are in a doublewide trailer on the school grounds.
The students are originally from all over the world: Vietnam, El Salvador, Mexico, Bhutan, and have a wide range of English proficiency. Monday afternoon’s orientation session was held at a local high school where the Oakland Adult education offices are co-located. We learned the schools we were sent to have the lowest literacy rates in the district.
We also learned tactics to better educate – use gestures, pictures, speak clearly, do not use slang and avoid talking like you would to an adolescent – these are proud adults who need a hand. Our NCFL hosts and the Oakland teachers we’ve been with have been wonderful.
It’s Important Stuff
We learned that when the parents are learning English this helps make a much more effective educational experience for their children, so helping these Moms is, in essence, going to help the kids become more literate. Also, the social structure in the homes are often turned upside down as the 1st graders often know more English than the parents do.
We spent much of the day reading kids books together, getting to know family members through speaking and writing exercises. I read Good Night, Gorilla as I have to my kids but it meant so much more reading with an adult mother from Vietnam with 2 kids. Brad Weirich’s Greenleaf team is working on a play for the adults (The Grouchy Little Ladybug) to perform to their children.
We also take breaks with some exercise to music which is a highlight for others and a source of embarrassment for me, as I’m old and have no rhythm. We also get to go into the classrooms with the parents of their kids where for 45 minutes a day, they learn together (PACT time – Parents and Children Together). I don’t know anything about their compensation, but whatever these elementary teachers are receiving, it is not enough for what they are doing.
Our Librarian guests are also having a great time, and before this trip is over we should have some great stories to tell.
Chief Financial Officer
Have your say » | Tagged Literacy Trips, Impact, literacy trip, NCFL
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