Makers and Gearheads Share Favorite Magazines to Inspire Teens to Dream Madison, WI— Combining sustainability with literacy to celebrate International Literacy Day, Flux Moped and MagazineLiteracy.org have teamed to collect gently read recycled car, biking, outdoor sports, science and technology, and active lifestyle magazines for literacy at their Madison showroom at 710 Williamson Street. The magazines will be delivered to mentoring and job training programs, and homeless students in Madison and nationwide.
We have an enormous task to sort and deliver hundreds of thousands of magazines to new readers in Wisconsin, New Jersey, New York City, and Long Island. This “literacy bee” came together recently in Madison to swarm the stack of recycled magazines to make it disappear into hands and homes via literacy programs. We need more volunteers to get the job done and more literacy agencies to receive magazines for their readers.
“Swarm the stack!” We need your help and lots of help from individuals and groups to pick-up and bundle thousands of recycled and donated magazines for delivery to children, families, and job trainees for literacy.
MADISON – Rise Up for Literacy! “Swarm the stack!” We need your help and lots of help from individuals and groups to sort 15,000 recycled and donated magazines for delivery to children, families, and job trainees for literacy.
By John Mennell As a teen, I devoured every copy of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics that I could get my hands on. It’s one of the reasons that we are so delighted when thousands of copies of these and other magazines show up at MagazineLiteracy.org for teen mentoring programs.
Illustration by Michael Mennell MagazineLiteracy.org is blessed with amazing amounts of technology and human support that allows us to run lean literacy operations – we are still all volunteers – pushed to the limit and eager to bring a truly automated, crowdfunded global marketplace to life to reach our full potential. We know that magazines are enormously powerful for literacy – with titles for every reading age and interest, and especially valuable for engaging reluctant readers.
John Mennell is the founder and impassioned spokesperson for Magazine Literacy, and from time to time I get calls from people who are inspired by his fervor to get involved in any way possible. Mennell’s got initiatives with the homeless, the unemployed, and Native American communities; he’s got magazines shipping to the Arctic Circle and to cooking schools throughout the country.
Thank you Linda and Doug for lighting a torch and passing it to kindred colleagues throughout the the magazine publishing supply chain. Magazines are especially powerful for literacy. To reach millions of at-risk readers we need to engage every person and every company in the industry – from the mill to the printer to the publisher and consumer, and from the mailroom to the board room. Linda Ruth – Three Steps to Better Industry Health, from a Display Manufacturer
by John Mennell MagazineLiteracy.org has received a gargantuan gift of up to 150,000 issues of Boy’s Quest, Hopscotch for Girls, and Fun for Kidz magazines for delivery to at-risk children via food banks and mentoring programs. The collaboration was made possible by Marilyn, Tom, and Jonathan Edwards – a long-time publishing and children’s media family, based in Bluffton, Ohio.
Doug Forrestal at Ryleco Displays has big ideas, a big heart, and is a man who takes action – he sees what can be and asks why not?
We have a mantra at MagazineLiteracy.org – iMAGine what’s possible, and make it so! When Doug learned about our need to distribute magazines for literacy, he immediately reached out to make “speed table” and other POP displays available for magazine distribution to readers in job training programs, food pantries, homeless and domestic violence shelters and other literacy programs. The timing could not have been more perfect, as we have been searching for an easy way to set up magazine distribution for literacy via onsite “newsstands” and “coffee tables.” Doug’s ingenuity and generosity has essentially created our “POP-up Literacy” program!
Doug’s impact stretches even further – from coast to coast. On his own initiative, Doug has been making deliveries of Food Network Magazine to the CHEFS culinary job training program for homeless people in San Francisco. Teaming with distributors for Hearst, Doug has extended that program to the Food Service Training Academy at the Community Food Bank of New Jersey that trains hundreds of people for culinary jobs. Program directores tell us that the magazines help culinary students learn contemporary food preparation and presentation skills, and recipe skills, and even math skills that get them ready for the job market.
We know that people love to read and share magazines and that, with titles for every age level and interest, magazines are especially powerful for literacy. There are 16 million children in poverty in America. Two-thirds of children in poverty live in homes with no books.
Doug’s good deeds underscore the idea that there is a role for every person in every corner of the magazine publishing industry to play in our literacy mission to get magazines into the hands and homes of at risk readers.
Thank you Doug for showing us the way to change the world – one magazine – one reader at a time! Join us.
“The printed magazines are so important. The experience of holding a printed magazine in your hand and reading it, the experience of finding some time and reading a print magazine is so valuable.” John Mennell, MagazineLiteracy.org Founder
by John Mennell Once a month, we hold a “First Sunday” magazine bundling event in our office to sort and create packages of recycled magazines for our literacy marketplace. I recently made the tactical error of starting off a welcoming pitch to a group of college students with a reference to CDs – not the financial kind – which turned a phalanx of eager volunteers into a sea of blank stares – tough crowd.
Eight months ago I wrote a post about encountering a stranger in the street and vowed to know his name. Yesterday, within fifteen minutes of picking up bundles of recycled magazines for literacy from the post office, we had not only met again, exchanged names and laughs, but we found a common bond around a set of magazines I left with him to own and to read. I explained our literacy project to this man and he said “you make magazines live again.”
We know that magazines are special and enormously powerful for literacy. As experienced first-hand today, a magazine can help to foster conversation and laughter and forge a bond around common interests. This is why they are so valuable for children and teens in mentoring and tutoring programs. A magazine can be a rich possession for a child or mom in a domestic violence shelter or homeless person, or a foster child taken suddenly from everything they know and own. Join us to change the world, one magazine, one new reader, one friend at a time.
by John Mennell We’ve just secured our first newsstand magazine drive at a Whole Foods scheduled for Earth Month from store open to close on Saturday April 12th and Sunday April 13th in Madison, WI. Every wave begins with a ripple, every forest a seed – our goal is to mobilize shoppers to clear every magazine copy for delivery to readers via literacy programs – and then to replicate the Magazine Harvest coast-to-coast.
Andy and Craig were taken from their friends and families too soon and unexpectedly to make any sense. Their soul mates – Tiffany and Carol – have payed their precious magazine collections forward to fuel literacy and self-esteem for at-risk readers, and to inspire a new generation of kindred spirits – READy for life! Craig was an avid reader of car and aviation magazines who “received his pilot’s license before his driver’s license.” Craig’s wife Carol, who gifted Craig’s collection of thousands of magazines to MagazineLiteracy.org for new readers, told us, “I was really glad not to have them relegated to recycling and hope they will spur someone’s interest in cars or planes or history.”
Welcome to Shine United – one part ad agency, one part digital shop, one part nitrous-burning Chevy Nova with the pedal to the floor. At Shine, our thinking is bold, our ideas fresh, and our creative not for those in pursuit of the status quo.
Shine United likes to shake things up. This week they are sharing the magazine love by reading, then recycling magazines from their ad agency into our literacy pipeline – helping MagazineLiteracy.org to achieve our dream marriage between the magazine industry supply chain end-to-end – and our global humanitarian supply chain.
We know that people love to read and to share their magazines – especially for literacy. We also know that magazines are enormously powerful for literacy and that getting reading materials into homes can disrupt poverty. The excellent quality magazines provided by Shine will be sent to new readers in homeless and domestic violence shelters, mentoring and job training programs, foster care, and into hands and homes via food banks and food pantries. We look forward to learning lessons from this new partnership so that we can engage other partners, nationwide and around the world to replicate this wonderful idea.
We celebrate our love in February. Ring the dinner bell and light the candles! We’ve cooked up an idea with the Kitchen Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin that we can serve up with any shop on every Main St. and every bookstore, grocery store, and airport newsstand in America. A magazine harvest that connects a shop with its community and the patrons who love to read and share their favorite magazines as gifts for literacy. Consumers want to support literacy and job training and love that it is so easy and convenient to share magazine gifts at their favorite local shops.
Our literacy journey continued last night with this Disrupt Poverty talk at the amazing Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education in Beloit (CELEB). This tech start-up, art, media, maker, co-working space is staffed by a group of passionate young entrepreneurs and stocked with state-of-the-art equipment to rock our world – in a good way.
Today we had the great pleasure and privilege to spend the day with the awesomely talented Steve, Mic, Rachel, Matt, and Jon from Bendyworks – a world renowned agile software development shop in Madison, WI – to kick-off the design of our online Magazine Literacy Marketplace. When completed, this crowdfunded global marketplace will allow consumers and businesses to support literacy needs anywhere in the world with the new and recycled magazines that they love to read and share. Join us at magazineliteracy.org
Music: Bells by Michael Mennell
Like food and water, literacy is essential for humans to thrive.
At MagLiteracy.org, we are blessed with so much generous support from thousands of donors and volunteers, and community leaders who make our mission possible. As I write this, I am $469 in to a $170 Facebook birthday fundraising campaign to support MagLiteracy.org.
I am sharing the details of this fundraiser to show a way you can bring in the much needed financial support that allows us to meet growing literacy needs. Whether it’s your birthday or any other idea that you have to inspire others to support your own MagLiteracy.org fundraising campaign, we appreciate every dollar you raise and gift to our literacy mission.
The people you know will support your fundraising if you support it yourself and tell your personal experiences. Here’s my story that I posted on Facebook.
by John Mennell Steve Blank – author of Four Steps to the Epiphany – is credited with launching the lean start-up movement, further evangelized by Eric Ries, Beth Kanter, and others. A commandment of Blank’s “Customer Development” model is to “get out of the building” to discover, understand, and iterate toward the true nature of the relationship between your customers and your product or service. At MagazineLiteracy.org we have foundational ideas about the special and enormous power of magazines for literacy, validated by the many testimonials we receive from literacy programs. The holidays are the perfect opportunity to spend time with friends and family and to “get out of the building” to experience reading with others first-hand.