Friday, September 21, 2012

For the Love of Books and Children

UntitledMost people who know me know that I am a voracious reader, and always have been.  Reading was something I learned to value as a child.  When school was out for the summer, the first thing I did was head to the public library with my parents.  And when school was in session, I often relied on the school library and bookmobile to provide free books.  Any extra money or allowance I got as a kid was often spent on books, but it was never enough, so libraries have always been near and dear to my heart.  I am still a big fan of local libraries, and this summer alone, I read 7 library books.  Last year, in my quest to read and review 200 books, I relied on quite a few library books and librarian recommendations.  I attend library books sales to help support the libraries.  And, when I have books I no longer need or want, I often donate them to our local library.

In short:

libraries = books = awesome.

Which is why it totally broke my heart to hear that Manchester School in Pittsburgh had less than 40 fiction books for the entire school to use.  40 total for grades pre-K to grade 8.  40.  I have easily read that many library books in a year, even as an elementary student.  This really needs to change; this is an urban school, serving urban kids, most of whom are minorities, many of whom are in need.  While other schools have state of the art technology labs, this school is struggling to even have a library at all.  This needs to change.  These kids deserve for it to change.  These kids deserve to know that they are worth the very best, that they can become the very best.  It is not just about books, it is about empowering these children with knowledge and self worth.

Since the story first got out, several people have written about it, the details have been shared by an award winning author (I love you Neil Gaiman), and  the response has been overwhelming.  But we cannot let interest wane.

Today, millions of people payed mega dollars for the newest iPhone, some skipping work to obtain it.  For millions, money is not an issue.  But for these kids it is, which is why I am asking for your help.  For 2% of the cost of the new iPhone, you could buy a book for this school, maybe even two.  And it could help make the difference in the lives of countless children.  Can you please help?

If you are interested in helping Pittsburgh Manchester school, there are a couple of ways you can help.  You can send donations directly to the school at the following address:

Pittsburgh Manchester PreK-8 (label packages for the Library)
1612 Manhattan Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15233

or, you can actually order directly from the school's Amazon wish list, and have it sent to the school.

I just had a book sent to the school.  Will you?