Kirkwood, Half Price Books Team Up for Literacy

Bookseller kicking off effort during National Literacy Month in September

While the declining economy has forced many people from their jobs, it has pushed them into the door of literacy organizations nationwide looking for help to boost literacy and job skills. While the call for help is a good thing, it has left many literacy groups in need of additional volunteers to make sure students get the help they need. Half Price Books, a longtime supporter of literacy causes, is hoping to solve this problem with “A,E,I,O & You,” an effort to help local literacy groups recruit volunteers.

A,E,I,O & You is an awareness and incentive campaign launched by Half Price Books to encourage volunteerism in the literacy field. In Cedar Rapids, potential volunteers will be referred to the Kirkwood Adult Literacy Program.

Half Price Books has pledged to donate $100 to the Kirkwood Adult Literacy Program for each volunteer that signs up through the A,E,I,O & You program during National Literacy Month and completes the required training. Additionally, trained volunteers will receive a $25 gift card to Half Price Books.

“Our goal during National Literacy Month is to help give every American the opportunity to enjoy a book or share a story with their family, and more volunteers will create more readers,” said Kathy Doyle Thomas, executive director for Half Price Books. “For those who don’t have time to volunteer, we hope at the very least this program serves as a reminder of the importance of literacy to our country.”

In a recent poll, 90 percent of Fortune 100 executives expressed concern that low literacy is hurting their productivity and profitability. The Kirkwood Adult Literacy Program has seen a significant rise in students in the past year, due to the declining economy and competitive work-force.

“Today, jobs that previously didn’t require high school diplomas are suddenly making them mandatory. This has led to a dramatic increase in students looking for classes at the Kirkwood Lincoln Learning Center which, in turn, means we need more volunteers as well,” said Kay Nebergall, director of Adult Literacy and High School Completion Programs at Kirkwood. “We’re thrilled about working with Half Price Books and to be a part of the A, E, I, O and You campaign.”

September became recognized throughout the United States as National Literacy Month following the declaration of September 8 as International Literacy Day. The first International Literacy Day was declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1965. Every city celebrates in their own way, all with the same goal of encouraging adults and children to read.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.