Inventing a literacy pipeline into the hands, homes, and hearts of eager readers

Like the light of the sun, it beautifies all things on which it shines, and is no less welcome in the palace than in the humblest home.

— Lewis Latimer

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Horsing around for literacy

Thank you Mary in Connecticut for sharing your favorite magazines with our new eager readers at MagLiteracy.org. We love opening gifts boxes like this, which underscore why magazines and comics, with titles for every reading age, interest, and language, are the most powerful literacy engines on the planet.

How you can help literacy end poverty and more in your town

A frequent question is how to get involved with MagLiteracy.org. There are literacy needs in every town – in your community – that you can help to meet. Foster children and moms and kids in domestic abuse shelters, comforting families during natural disasters and rebuilding after, reaching reader’s via food pantries, homeless students, children in mentoring programs, and adults in job training programs. With titles for every reading age and interest, sharing good quality favorite magazines and comics – both new and recycled – are powerful for literacy.
Here are some ideas to guide you. Contact us for more details.

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Lean literacy

We’ve reached the point where about half the inquiries to our literacy project come from desktop computers and a full half or more come directly from mobile devices. Thanks to the amazing support and hard work of so many individuals and businesses, coast to coast, and around the world, we have learned so many lessons about the enormous literacy power of magazines and comics. Literacy ends poverty. With titles for every reading age, interest, and language, magazines and comics are the most powerful literacy levers on the planet. 
Based on our experiences, and keeping those efforts and momentum in gear, we are embarking on a special mission to deploy a lean, leveraged, mobile, global humanitarian marketplace to deliver reading materials to at-risk readers wherever they exist. 
The marketplace is joining together these key stakeholders to find and feed every person eager and hungry to read:
Literacy Ambassadors to locate community literacy needs. 
Literacy Champions to crowdfund delivery of Literacy Newsstands, stocked with new and recycled magazines and comics with our forever promise that 100% of donations deliver literacy to at-risk readers. 
Literacy Angels to underwrite research, logistics, and operations. 
Literacy Bees to crowdsource the collection and delivery of recycled magazines and comics for literacy.
Literacy Agents – to use our magazines and comics to support the literacy needs of the at-risk readers they serve. 
Most important, you can help us to build this strong and sustainable literacy marketplace. 
This is our moonshot. Join us
Tell the world. 

Literacy that grows on trees – how to plant a magazine literacy tree anywhere on earth to feed hungry readers



In Kolkata India, an IT company and a job training program have teamed to plant a magazine literacy tree to feed hungry readers. This is the first in a series of articles to trace their journey together, so you can learn how to mobilize a literacy partnership where you live and work. 

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Miss Texas hopeful has already won against illiteracy and poverty

Being a border state, Texans face illiteracy not only because of poverty, but also because of a language barrier in some cases. I really try to encourage donations of magazines in Spanish, because people who are strong readers in their native language have an easier time picking up a secondary language.
With titles for every reading age, interest, and language, magazines and comics are the most powerful literacy engines on the planet. Read this inspiring story told by Miss Texas contestant Kimberly Ferguson, who set out to deliver hundreds of magazines to eager readers and is already achieving 10x her goal. We are blessed by literacy ambassadors like Kimberly. 

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Grabbing #literacy by the longhorns in Austin TX

Street Youth Ministry founder Terry Cole with John who told me he loves to read whatever he can.
The University of Texas motto is Disciplina praesidium civitatis. A cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy.

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2016 Accomplishments

 
As we work towards our goals for this year, we like to look back at what we accomplished last year. MagazineLiteracy saw fantastic growth in outreach in 2016, having donated nearly 122,000 magazines to agencies around the world.
We donate to mentoring and job training programs, food pantries, shelters, community centers, and foster care.

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Changing the world, one magazine, one reader at a time

We’ve established that magazines are enormously powerful for literacy, because there are titles for every reading age, interest, and language. This table shows where English, Spanish, and French language is spoken by territory, indicating a long list of places around the world where, with literacy need identified, and an invitation, we can have an impact. Our ultimate goal is to make reading materials available in all native or first languages, but we have to start somewhere. We have excellent access to English and Spanish language magazines in the U.S. and potentially good access to French language magazines in the U.S. and especially Canada. We’ve had good success partnering with international relief organizations, company sponsors, and travelers to get our magazine literacy materials to readers overseas. We’ve already delivered magazines to the Arctic, Jamaica, Croatia, Uganda, and Honduras. We are seeking publishing and humanitarian partners to expand our literacy reach. Join us. Tell the world.
See table of English, Spanish, and French language by territory

November surprise – how magazines upcycled from Seattle, Denver, Puerto Rico, and California bring literacy to Trenton NJ readers

By John Mennell
I believe things happen for reason. So, when I was driving to our New Jersey literacy warehouse, and missed my exit, ending up on Route 206 through the heart of Trenton, I abandoned the GPS and went with it.

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Magazines and comics bring comfort and hope after the storm

We serve academically at-risk, low income families who cannot afford books and reading materials and do not have access to the internet. We strive to get families reading together. We would appreciate any magazines for Pre-K or K level and also, magazines for adult readers. 

 — Pennsylvania educator
As we gear up our industry-wide effort to help children, families, schools, and communities rebuild reading resources in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, wishlists like this one above that arrived today are harbingers of the illiteracy storm devastating eager learners in every village in every land. 
According to Reading is Fundamental, two-thirds of children in poverty live in homes with zero books. Poor infants hear 30 million fewer words during crucial years for intellectual development. Each night, 35,000 moms and kids have left everything behind to escape to the safety of a domestic abuse shelter, staying for over a month. More than a million U.S. students are homeless today. There are tens of millions of at-risk readers, worldwide. 
With titles for every reading age, interest, and language, magazines and comics are the most powerful literacy engines on the planet. We are standing up our global literacy response team to offer comfort and hope, and to help people to begin to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Matthew, and more. 
Reading is where it all begins. We have the mission and materials. We have the people and the passion. We need your backing to succeed on the scale matching the enormous literacy need and value that is waiting. Join us now

Hurricane Matthew

Our hearts and hands are with the millions of Caribbean and American children and families facing unspeakable devastation in the path of Hurricane Matthew. MagazineLiteracy.org will marshal every fiber of our mission to bring comfort. Join us

Getting reading materials down the last mile into hands, homes, and hearts

Delivery of magazines to the Bethany House of Hospitality location on Hamilton Ave across from Columbus Park in Trenton NJ
Trenton NJ is at the heart of our global literacy promise. Our mission to share favorite magazines sent to us by consumers and publishers relies on spirited community efforts to reach across the last mile and into hands and homes of readers.

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Palm Beach high school student iMAGines literacy at local shelters and makes it so

High school student Rujul Bharadwaj in Palm Beach, Florida is a young man on a literacy mission – a citizen of the world who iMAGines the way things can be and makes them so. Vinod Khosla, a trailblazing founder of Silicon Valley’s Sun Microsystems, says he lives by the philosophy, “Whatever I believe, I should make happen.”

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Upcycling magazines and comics to at-risk readers for INDEPENDENCE every DAY

In America today, we are celebrating our freedom and self-determination. To survive in our world, each human needs food, water, shelter, and literacy. Reading is where it all begins. Literacy is the catalyst for human dignity, productivity, prosperity, collaboration, civility, and community.
Literacy ends poverty. In the U.S. alone, there are over 40 million at-risk readers with little or no access to useful reading materials. According to Reading is Fundamental, two-thirds of children in poverty – over 12 million kids and their families – have zero books at home where reading habits take hold – zero.
Worldwide, hundreds of millions of people lack access to reading materials. With titles and rich content in words and pictures for every reading age, interest, and language, magazines and comics are the most powerful literacy engines on the planet. Over 360 million magazines are printed each month worldwide, enough to erase this deficit. 
MagazineLiteracy.org works in partnership with publishers and consumers to rescue and upcycle magazines and comics for delivery to at-risk readers via foodbanks and food pantries, homeless and domestic violence shelters, youth mentoring and job trainig programs, and foster care. This is our moonshot – standing up the largest humanitarian literacy marketplace on Earth. 
For happy independence every day, join us to iMAGine what’s possible, and make it so.

This long walk from Trenton NJ delivers literacy to Jamaican school children

This year, our theme, “Steps to Advance Literacy,” serves two purposes: We’re focusing on Jamaica—a small island where big things happen—and bringing awareness to the distance students in some countries must travel each day just to get to school.

— International Literacy Association

imageThe International Literacy Association is getting ready to celebrate the United Nations International Literacy Day on September 8th with a focus on school children in Jamaica. Every journey, no matter how far, begins with first steps. This story began at a food pantry in Trenton NJ many years ago when Lorraine Smith, a world citizen and literacy champion with an unstoppable heart, welcomed magazines from MagazineLiteracy.org to feed children and families hungry to read. Lorraine dreamed of supplying reading materials to the children attending the school in Jamaica that she attended as a child. She founded Solutions For U and, to honor her mother, embarked on this mission accomplished to fill a barrel with Highlights for Kids magazines delivered into the eager hands of children at her childhood school. Lorraine is already planning to reach more children in more schools. iMAGine what’s possible and make it so! Join us.

Literacy roadtrip for summer reading

Today we are celebrating the incredible mastery of children’s illustrator Aja Mulford who created this beautiful poster for our literacy roadtrip campaign. 
Our Madison office is prepping magazines for a trip to 1,200 California kids and teens in 18 locations in time for summer reading when academic gains are at greatest risk. 
After that, we will ready 100,000 Highlights for Children, National Geographic, Guideposts, Teen Vogue, Scholastic, TIME, Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith Corporation, and more great mags for eager at-risk readers via foodbanks, shelters, youth mentoring, job training, and foster care programs from our Trenton warehouse to Boston, NYC, Pilly, Baltimore, DC, Richmond, and Atlanta. 
We need your help to get it done. Join us
Reading is where it all begins. iMAGine what’s possible and make it so.

TO: Mommy – Twelve million kids don't own a single book in their house

By Rose Ayar
12 million children. Twelve million kids don’t own a single book in their house, and that’s only in the United States. 
When the founder of this program, John Mennell, told me and the other volunteers just how many people don’t have the privilege of books, I felt determined. Determined to change that number of kids and people. 

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Jacque Howard iMAGines news boxes as libraries for Trenton and makes it so

Trenton New Jersey is a place where ideas and events that change the world spring to life – often snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. The America of today was born on a cold winter day in Trenton against all odds by the unflinching will of George Washington. Terracycle, an early friend of MagazineLiteracy.org, was founded by Tom Szaky on the premise of turning worm waste into liquid fertilizer sold in recycled soda bottles, and now upcycles millions of consumer packages collected from schools and stores into new products for homes and industries.

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Magazines for youth mentoring form bonds that last a lifetime

Scholastic and College Mentors for Kids partner to launch young dreams. 
Illiteracy means you cannot read to your child, or read instructions from your doctor, or a job application, or web page. Adults unable to read where once children who didn’t learn how. Children unable to read are quickly lost in school, unable to do well in any subject. Youth mentoring at programs like College Mentors for Kids is a powerful way to break the cycle. 
With titles for every reading age and interest, magazines like Scholastic are enormously powerful literacy engines for youth mentoring at College Mentors for Kids and Boys & Girls Clubs, and boatbuilders like Rocking the Boat in the Bronx, and golf and tennis mentoring programs, like Tenacity in Boston. Magazines can help to break the ice between a mentor and their young person, forming a bond around common interests and experiences, delivered into their hands by magazine stories and images that can transport readers anywhere in the world and beyond. 
We all know our favorite magazines as children, teens, and adults. The magazines we read during our formative years engage us with impressions that last a lifetime, guiding our journey to reach beyond our dreams and achieve our fullest potential. Our mission at MagazineLiteracy.org is about sharing that possibility with at-risk readers. 
At 33 university and college campuses, College Mentors for Kids helps first- through sixth-graders understand the importance of education, foster the value of diversity, and show children how to give back to the community.
Reading is Fundamental says that most children and families in poverty have zero books at home. We welcome Scholastic magazine in our global quest to wipe out illiteracy and poverty by supporting vital youth mentoring programs like College Mentors for Kids that put reading materials into hands, homes, and hearts. 
Reading is where it all begins. Join us. 

Tennessee road trip yields magazines for kids and teens – and a new friend

By John Mennell
On the way back home from the Nashville Country Living Fair, I traveled near enough to a magazine recycler to make a personal pick-up. At its core, our global literacy project is about making connections between people who love to read their favorite magazines and then share them with new readers. This beautiful collection from Michele will go to children and teens via our food pantry and shelter newsstands. Michele explained her own fond memories of reading magazines like these as a child and teen, and how pleased she is to share them with others. Our project is made possible by these simple acts of kindness that can change the life of another young reader forever. Thank you Michele for your generous support. Reading is where it all begins. 

Celebrating Children's Illustrator Aja Mulford

We are celebrating Aja Mulford – a fabulously talented children’s illustrator who is helping to bring MagazineLiteracy.org to life. Aja’s work is so fresh and colorful. We are very excited about this collaboration and the wonderful possibilities. Stay tuned.

Max and Maggie the Literacy Bees
Max and Maggie abuzz about Literacy!

Mr. Magazine Keeps the Flame Launching a Thousand Ships Burning Bright in Every Harbor

A dear friend to so many, and most beloved voice on planet Earth for the magazines we cherish – Samir Husni aka Mr. Magazine – founder of the Ole Miss Magazine Innovation Center – is gearing up for the Act 6 Experience from April 20 – 22. Samir’s passion is to amplify the power of print magazines in our lives. 

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Earth Month: Largest literacy market on the planet opens to feed a million at-risk readers by International Literacy Day

Magazine Lovers Seed Largest Free Literacy Market on Earth
Media Release and Images
Trenton, NJ — Celebrating Earth Month on April 30 and May 1, MagazineLiteracy.org will open the world’s largest free literacy market in Trenton, New Jersey, Columbus, Ohio, and Madison, Wisconsin, stocked with recycled magazines supplied by publishers and consumers to feed a million eager at-risk readers by the United Nation’s International Literacy Day. Literacy programs will be able to shop for reading materials at no cost.

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