Posted by Better World Books on 07.09.2012 at 2:29 pm
Tammie Nelson is our Controller and leads the Accounting team at Better World Books and is currently on our 2012 Literacy Trip. She sent in this update after a visit with our nonprofit literacy partner Room to Read. Over the next week or two we’ll be posting more updates from the trip.
Working at BWB, I thought that I understood the importance of promoting literacy. This year, I am honored to be visiting our literacy partners in Vietnam and Cambodia. One day into the trip and I know it is a serious reality check for me. I was so fortunate to be raised by parents that placed a high value on education. There was never any doubt in my mind about going to college. My dad knew where I was going (Penn State) and what I would be studying (Accounting) when I was a young child. I’m glad he was right.
July 4th was our first meeting with our literacy partner, Room to Read. At the RtR offices in Ho Chi Minh City, we met with the Communications Officer and the Vietnam Program Directors. These ladies have such passion for their work. When we asked why they do what they do, one said that after 35 years of working, she finally feels like she is making a difference. Funny, I feel the same way about my work at BWB. Although I am the Controller and am doing the same type of work I have done for many years, it seems different now. Another’s eyes welled up with tears and she was choked up as she talked about her girls.
The Girls Education Program works with girls at schools in poor districts. This program has evolved from hand selecting a limited number of students to working directly with classes of students in the schools instead. So many children leave school after the primary years because they need to work and help support the family. School means tuition, uniforms, transportation, and time. These require money and time that the family cannot spare. RtR helps with these issues. Students in this program require the help of the whole community. When a student enters the program, it is a commitment from their family and community for change. The students, the schools and the parents must recommit every year that they will allow time to study. I was surprised to learn that the student and the parents have a contract with RtR showing that they are committed to change.
It’s only day one and I already know that I will never forget what I am seeing and learning in Southeast Asia.
2 Comments » | Tagged Impact, bwbimpact, literacy, literacy trip, nonprofit partners, room to read, vietnam
Posted by Erin on 04.18.2011 at 1:36 pm
This Earth Day Week, if you’re thinking about greening your home, check out this story on Designing Spaces’ environmental show Think Green featuring Better World Books. Read more…
Have your say » | Tagged Company News, In the News, Uncategorized, africa, earth, eco-friendly, educate, green, literacy, read, recycle
Posted by admin on 03.18.2011 at 9:13 am
As you may recall, a group of BWB employees and two of our Librarian partners recently volunteered to do some hands-on work with the National Center for Family Literacy in Oakland, CA. Here is the first of two videos showing the collaboration of schools, students, and their parents in literacy education. See firsthand what kind of impact your purchases from Better World Books have in the world.
Part 2 is on the way!
Posted by admin on 03.14.2011 at 4:56 pm
Libraries serve a very important function in our communities. They are a valuable resource for children and adults. Libraries offer a wide range of services from helping people find jobs to offering workshops for small businesses. And they are often the only place to access the internet for the 34% of the US population who do not have computer access at home (“Home Broadband Adoption,” Pew Internet and American Life, 2010).
Libraries tend to reflect the communities they serve. They tailor their services to the needs of the people in their areas. And when new resources are needed to help the local community, libraries will seek funding to make their projects a reality. That’s where we come in.
Better World Books is a huge supporter of libraries of all kinds and we are aware of the financial struggles they face. It is why we decided to make available $75,000 to be distributed to libraries who have compelling projects which will make a dramatic impact in their communities.
Libraries have up until March 25th to submit their “Game Changing” ideas. Winners will be announced on May 16th and the winning projects implemented between 5/16/11 and 12/31/11.
We are looking for projects that will significantly impact literacy in their communities. It’s why we refer to them as “Game Changing” ideas. Successful applicants will use funds to advance a compelling literacy project that Better World Books will follow and share with you.
If you work at a library, know of anyone that works at a library, love your library or have ever been touched by the power of a book, check out www.betterworldbooks.com/librarygrants. There you’ll find out more about the library grant program and how to participate.
1 Comment » | Tagged Our Partners, Grants, libraries, literacy
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 John on 02.15.2010 at 11:48 am
Erin Sawaya and Michelle Viegas of Worldfund recently paid a visit to Better World Books’ distribution center where they provided us an update on their progress improving literacy in Latin America. Better World Books book donors and readers have helped raise over $150,000 for Worldfund since they became a literacy partner in 2007.
Worldfund’s mission is to raise the quality and relevance of education in Latin America—the key to transforming lives and breaking the cycle of poverty. They do this through scholarship funding and through teacher and principal training programs. There is an excellent introductory video about Worldfund on their website.
Photo: Michelle Viegas, Director of Programs & Strategic Outreach, and Erin Sawaya, Vice President of Development and Communications, speak to Better World Books employees.
Presentations from our partners always have loads of great information, but there’s usually a key fact or two that jump out for me. In this case it was that $600 can provide a scholarship to a child for a full year (in case you’re interested here’s a link to the donations page). Read more…
Have your say » | Tagged Our Partners, latin america, literacy, Starfish School, worldfund
Posted by admin on 09.08.2009 at 2:39 pm
As you undoubtedly know, we are all about literacy here at Better World Books. But you might ask, why literacy? And what does it mean to promote literacy? That’s why we thought in honor of International Literacy Day we’d share our views on why literacy is so important to us and to the world.
Those of us who can read and write sometimes take that ability for granted, but think of all the things you couldn’t do without those skills, from navigating your way in a new area to knowing what medication to take to being able to understand and communicate with the world around you.
Being literate is not just about the ability to read a story and enjoy good books, it is about being empowered. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said it best: “Literacy is not just about reading and writing; it is about respect, opportunity and development”.
There is a correlation between literacy and poverty. This is why empowerment through literacy is so important. Literacy presents new opportunities and brings the marginalized onto equal footing enabling them to lift themselves out of poverty. Literacy is foundational to education which in turn is foundational to development.
To celebrate International Literacy Day, we’re discounting all used books in our warehouse 15%. As always, you’ll be helping one of our amazing non-profit literacy partners with every purchase. (Note — that means used books from our warehouse, not from the Marketplace.)
Just use this code at checkout: 4LITERACY
One Day Only – Good on Sept. 8, 2009!
Posted by Jack on 12.01.2008 at 1:42 pm
From the offical website: The 1st of December, World AIDS Day, is the day when individuals and organisations from around the world come together to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic. 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. Whilst we have come a long ways since 1988, there is still much more to be done.
1 Comment » | Tagged Impact, Our Partners, books for africa, literacy, World AIDS Day
Posted by Jack on 08.27.2008 at 10:14 am
I was recently flipping through the back issues of the New York Times magazine that I had not yet gotten to and saw one of my favorite columns, On Language, tackling a most interesting topic for a CBO: Emoticons. You won’t see emoticons here at the Better World Blog, but in a world where the average American child types far more than they write and emoticons and “AIM speak” dominate, it can be a challenge to think of how literacy and education will change with these dominating forms of communication. How many of you have fallen in and said “brb” “lol” or just included a simple ” ” in an email or used “u” instead of “you” in a moment of brevity inspired weakness?
In any event, the article is sharp and can be found here but the point of most note is the end:
Those concerned about the compression of our sped-up language are directed to “Linguistic Ruin? LOL! Instant Messaging and Teen Language,” by Sali Tagliamonte and Derek Denis, an article in the spring 2008 quarterly “American Speech” (dukeupress.edu). My choice for most influential and seminal language book of the year is “Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World,” by Naomi S. Baron, professor of linguistics at American University in D.C. (Oxford University Press, $30). She’s a scholar who can write in real time with real words.
1 Comment » | Tagged Book Reviews, emoticons, literacy, new york times, on language
Posted by admin on 07.28.2008 at 2:59 pm
Some ironclad logic for your Monday:
(Question: Which part is more embarrassing: the views represented, the fantastic irony, or the circled dots above the “i’s” that suggest this was actually done by his kid? ¿Donde esta la educación, amigo? I sort of love the superfluous hyphen though…)
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, idiocy, literacy, xeonphobia
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