Posted by admin on 04.01.2008 at 11:35 am
Post swiped from the NCFL’s hot new blog, “Literacy Now.”
The good times just keep rolling! Here are some of the conference highlights from Monday:
David Murphy of Better World Books helped open the general session with thoughts about how Better World Books are working to .merge commerce and philanthropy in a way that will make the world a better place. One simple way to do that…shop BetterWorld.com to buy books from a company that balances profit, planet, and people.
- Marie Bradby shared the background and inspiration for her book, More Than Anything Else.
- The NCFL photo booth wrapped up with almost 70 groups visiting and having their pictures made. Keep an eye out for your picture in your local paper!
And we were honored with some great coverage in the local newspaper in Louisville. Click here to see the online version of Monday’s article in the Courier-Journal.
Photo gallery and comment over at the original post
Have your say » | Tagged Our Partners, david murphy, NCFL, Our Partners
Posted by admin on 12.03.2007 at 8:36 am
Better World Books’ President and CEO, David Murphy, is in Hong Kong to address the 2007 Cyberport Venture Capital Forum on “Building Creative Businesses that Can Do Well and Do Good”. With over 300 Venture Capitalists from both Hong Kong and mainland China expected to attend, the Forum hopes to inspire the participants on a collection vision to build businesses which can do well economically and also do good for the community.
According to Nicholas Yang, Chief Executive Officer of Cyberport, “our distinguished and successful speakers will share their experience on how they bring profits to their companies and benefit society at the same time. Investors and entrepreneurs will also share their insights on how to seek out, fund and build companies/business models which can do well and do good at the same time. We believe more that more businesses in the future will embed social elements in their operation and strategy, to help create a better society for future generations in which to live, to work, to enjoy, and to dream.”
Venture capital forum set for December 4
News.gov.hk – Hong Kong
Posted by admin on 12.01.2007 at 10:08 am
Attached you will find the article from Fast Company magazine (Dec/Jan issue) that announces their “2008 Social Capitalist Awards.” This is the fifth year Fast Company has selected outstanding companies for their social impact; however, in the past, they have only focused their search and selection process on the non-profit community.
This is the first year that Fast Company embarked on an experiment to look at the for-profit sector for those companies that are truly making a social impact and changing the world. Thirty one companies applied and ten winners were selected…..including Better World Books!! Fast Company teamed up with the Monitor Consulting Group and some other outside social venture expertise to apply a rigorous methodology for selecting companies that, in the end, explicitly place social good ahead of shareholder return.
Take a look about what they say about your company….it is certainly nice to see a highly respected institution like Fast Company/Monitor Group verify (again, after a ton of examination), understand (they clearly “get” all that we do and the impact we are making in the world) and publicly applaud our business model.
I like the closing paragraph to the Social Capital Awards article here….worth highlighting for all of you.
“Change the world. Make some money. Raise more money, and make more change. It is an appealing prospect. Nonprofits were born because for-profits weren’t addressing some market failures — pollution, poverty, illiteracy. Profits won’t cure those ills, but it’s becoming a bigger part of more solutions. Perhaps it’s dawning on us that the cost of capital for changing the world should be lower. Perhaps the capital markets will cut the world a break.”
It goes without saying that this award is YOUR award….each and every one of you who make Better World Books run. Congratulations on being such an integral part of not only this recognition but in changing the world….one book at a time.
Posted by admin on 10.03.2007 at 7:35 am
I am excited to share with you some news regarding Better World Books’ support of “Green for All”. See this from Brad Weirich, Employee Development Manager, who will be involved with this effort going forward (representing Better World Books):
Green for All, a new campaign focused on bringing “green collar” jobs to urban areas, launched on Friday, September 26th, at the Clinton Global Initiative. The group, created by Van Jones, Co-Founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, seeks to capitalize on the exploding green economy while ensuring that the coming green economic wave impacts on more than one level.
The Green for All campaign is a bold effort to harness the growing power of the green economic revolution to fight the war on poverty. By securing job training for 250,000 workers from urban communities for the emerging green job market, the program will provide new avenues of opportunity for those who have traditionally been left behind by the nation’s economic growth.
Green for All was launched with the support of over 200 businesses and organizations, including Better World Books.
If you would like to see the full press release, please go here
Posted by admin on 09.25.2007 at 9:23 am
[ed: The following letter is from Pat Plonski of Books for Africa to David Murphy, CEO of Better World Books, it talks about the exciting steps that BFA and BWB are taking to make more impact and make sure the money that you help raise is going to the right places!]
Just wanted to show you these latest numbers regarding the incredible impact being made by the Better World Books Fund of Books for Africa in just the last two and one half months. Including the container that we just sent yesterday to Ghana, the Better World Books Fund has leveraged the delivery of 13 containers of books (400,000 books) to eight countries valued at $2.3 million. We have shipped to Kenya, Tanzania, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Algeria, and Ghana. Not bad for 12 weeks! The establishment of the Better World Books Fund has frankly transformed our shipping operation by allowing Books for Africa to leverage donations from individuals who cannot afford to pay for a full container, and by allowing us to ship to countries never before served by BFA. Book shipments at Books for Africa are up dramatically this fiscal year, and are in fact on a track to increase by at least 50% over last year.
So that’s the latest. Shipments are way up in large part to the Better World Books Fund. About half of our shipments over the past 12 weeks have been in collaboration with Better World Books. Of course, those regular payments designated for unrestricted funding (which we receive from you on a monthly basis) to underwrite our ongoing operations are also coming in very handy.
Thanks much for all you and the Better World Books team is doing. We expect to reach our goal of shipping 20 million books to Africa next year and our collaboration with BWB has been a key element in our success.
Books for Africa
Help End the Book Famine in Africa! View the BFA Story
Posted by admin on 09.11.2007 at 12:06 pm
The health of the people of Somaliland is among the worst in Africa . This statement is supported by the fact that even before the civil war and the separation of the two Somali states, Somalia had one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. While recent valid data is not available, the mortality rates after the destruction that has taken place in country is frightening to consider.
-One out of 8 babies dies before the age of 12 months
-Every year nearly 4,000 Somali women die in childbirth
-One out of 5 children dies before the age of five
-Life expectancy is only 48 years
In the Somaliland region of Somalia, an extraordinary woman named Edna Adan Ismail runs her own obstetric hospital and trains midwives, underscoring how women’s lives can be saved even in the most difficult environments. The hospital site, once used as a mass killing field during the civil war for independence (1988-1990) under Siad Barre’s reign, is now a haven for bringing new life into the world.
Xavier Helgesen, co-founder of BWB, learned about this hospital in a New York Times article, and contacted the hospital after the announcement of the Better World Books Fund for Books For Africa, and a container of books was received in late July.
The Better World Books Fund is designed to pay for the shipping costs of containers of books, donated through Books For Africa. The Fund is important, because the shipping costs for this one container alone were over $5,000.
The donated books will be used for the hospital’s medical library for the Edna Adan Teaching Hospital. While the library could not currently contain a whole container of books, any extra books with will be distributed to Universities in Somalia and governmental nursing facilities.
Posted by admin on 09.11.2007 at 8:35 am
I received this today from our partner, The National Center for Family Literacy, and wanted to share it with everyone. NCFL is doing great work and this press release…..timed to coincide with the celebration of International Literacy Day (September 8th)……is a great way to draw attention to the issue of illiteracy in our own country……
David W. Murphy
President and CEO
Better World Books
Have your say » | Tagged Our Partners, david murphy, NCFL, Our Partners, partner updates
Posted by admin on 09.10.2007 at 8:43 am
As you have seen and read from my Better World Books colleagues, a few of us had the opportunity to visit the Santa Rosa School in Arizona. I had the opportunity help teachers set up classrooms, set-up computers, inflate playground balls, and interact with the families of the FACE program. It was amazing to see the impact that the teachers make on the children and more so, the dedication the teachers had for what they did is truly inspiring.
David Murphy and I had the chance to help one of the teachers set up her classroom. She had found out only a few days prior to our arrival that she would no longer be teaching 1st graders, but would actually have 5th grade students at the beginning of the school year. As you can imagine, it is quite a daunting task to convert a 1st grade classroom to one appropriate for 5th graders in just a few days.
David Murphy, CEO of BWB, adjusting desks. The classroom after the desks were adjusted.
At the start, David and I readjusted table heights for the new class. With only a day until school started, we helped transform the classroom from piles of desks and stacked boxes to a functioning room. But we definitely had the easy job. It was now up to the teacher to prepare the curriculum and teach the kids the entire year.
The trip was definitely an unforgettable experience and helps me appreciate all that I have. It also gives me some satisfaction that what we do here at Better World Books is at the very least able to help our organizations such as these.
Posted by admin on 08.21.2007 at 5:14 am
It is what we at Better World Books are all about in our mission to actively promote literacy on four continents.
We partner with non-profit partners who know how to stretch a dollar and get things done. Solid track records. Passion that is laser-focused and results driven. Promotion of self-sustaining, long term, scalable solutions on how to bring literacy and education to the highest at-risk communities here in the U.S. and around the world.
Better World Books delivers it, measures it, inspects it. We have been to Africa with our partner Books for Africa. We have been in Mexico City with our partner Worldfund. We see first hand what our partners are doing and how they are making a difference… one book, one library, one classroom, one child at a time.
Earlier this month a small group of us had the opportunity to get a very close look at the work of one of our non-profit literacy partners, The National Center for Family Literacy (“NCFL”), on a Native American Indian Reservation in Arizona. Eight Better World Books employees joined three NCFL staff members on the Tohono O’odham Reservation to look closely at the FACE (Family and Child Education) Program; a federal program sponsored by the Bureau of Indian Education and NCFL on reservations throughout the United States.
Tohono O’odham Nation Facts:
- Comparable in size to the state of Connecticut (more than 2.8 million acres) and is the third largest Indian reservation in the U.S.
- Total population is approximately 24,000 people living on the reservation
- Per capita income is $3,113 (compared with more than $14,000 nationally), the lowest of all U.S. reservations
- 65.7% of the population is below the poverty level (compared to 13.1% nationally)
- 62.7% of the adult population is unemployed
- 47% of households have no telephone
- 29% lack plumbing
- 47% have no vehicle
Enter NCFL and the FACE Program being delivered at the Santa Rosa Boarding and Day School on the reservation. The FACE Program essentially has three components:
1. Prenatal and early childhood education: FACE team members visit the homes of expecting mothers and provide education on prenatal care, nutrition, and the importance of reading to the child (even when the baby is in the womb and certainly in the very early years leading up to formal school). FACE team members stay very close to the mother and child in these first few years of the child’s life and encourage the parent(s) to then bring the child to the School to begin the second phase of the FACE Program.
2. The parent(s) will then bring their young child/children, typically age 2-4, to the School. FACE actually contracts with existing schools on the reservation (like Santa Rosa) to provide for: a) Transportation – mother and child typically ride the school bus with the older children; b) Meals – breakfast and lunch are served at the school; c) Space – the School has to free up the space to accommodate both the child and the parent(s) for each of their programs; and d) Full and part time instructors and all related educational materials. The children are brought to one room for their day of learning, fun and activities.
We were privileged to meet Sandra Schafer here… the full time instructor for the children as well as her assistant, Lillian Wood. Sandra is a gifted and experienced teacher who has taught in Poland and China. She brings a high level of enthusiasm and knowledge to the Santa Rosa FACE classroom… and it is clear that Lillian has a very calming, nurturing presence in the classroom with these children. All of us were able to meet the children and interact with them in the classroom; several BWB employees (along with NCFL staff) also helped Sandra and Lillian get their classroom ready for the children (we arrived the day before school opened for the new year). Better World Books also delivered approximately 200 children’s books from its Indiana warehouse to Sandra and Lillian’s program… some of which were permanent “take home gifts” for the children at the end of their first day of school.
3. Once the parent(s) has dropped off their child with Sandra for the day, they go to their own room across the hall with Sister Val (Valerie Beuke, from the school Sisters of Notre Dame; home province in Saint Louis, MO).
Sister Val, who has been actively involved in teaching on Indian Reservations for 23 years, is a deeply committed teacher of the “Adult Ed” component of the FACE Program… working directly with the parents of the children to help them obtain their GED certification, or simply improve their literacy skills and get them better prepared for more advanced education and/or certain employment opportunities. We were all able to meet and interact with Sister Val’s students and BWB also delivered approximately 150 books to be used by Sister Val in this part of the program.
In addition to being able to really get to see and understand the FACE Program in action and better appreciate NCFL’s role in sponsoring and helping to architect the program, we all had the chance to pitch in and help get the Santa Rosa School itself “in shape” for the opening of school. My thanks to Walter, Aaron, Sarah Lynne, Jacob, Damara, Abby and Geoff for the tremendous work you all did in cutting grass, cleaning and landscaping the area around the dorm (not easy in 105 degree heat!), picking up trash, getting rid of graffiti, moving furniture, adjusting desks, putting furniture together, sorting books, organizing some basketball activities during recess, reading to and spending time with the children, helping out in the classroom itself (primarily first grade class), hooking up computers in some of the classrooms, and lots of other activities over the three days we spent at Santa Rosa.
We were humbled by the experience… especially the amazing enthusiasm and tremendous sacrifice and commitment that we saw so clearly in the teachers, administrators (Keith, Linda, Norma… and “Coach”), and staff (we certainly want to thank all those in the school cafeteria who helped prepare meals each day for the students as well as ourselves during “lunch period”). And we will never forget the children and their parents… their smiles and warmth and sincere hospitality and appreciation for our efforts… as well as their determined efforts to try to improve their lives… and the lives of their children… by taking advantage of FACE and the opportunities they know will only come with more education. In so many ways, whether it is here in Tohono O’odham Nation, Tanzania, Mexico or Nepal… it is for these moments that we do what we do at Better World Books. Better World Books will now be sending books to Santa Rosa on a regular basis… doing what we can to try and make a difference and open up the world of possibility for the parents and children of Santa Rosa and the FACE Program.
David Murphy, President and CEO
Posted by Mary on 04.18.2007 at 12:56 pm
We just heard Al Gore speak on the environmental and that it’s a moral issue/decision for each and every one of us and David Murphy, CEO of BWB, talking about the incredible strides we have made since our inception and in particular the tremendous impact that Phi Theta Kappa has made for the Book Drives for Better Lives Program from an environmental and social standpoint!!
Mary Murphy, Southeast Regional Director of Better World Books and Erica Chong from Guam, together at the Phi Theta Kappa International conference in Nashville, TN!
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