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Changing the world – one magazine at a time – A boy learns to read in a Boston homeless shelter

This letter that I received from the staff at the Boston Family Shelter demonstrates the value of the Magazine Harvest magazine recycling program. I am continuing my work to collect and deliver magazines to this program, as well as to a nearby Boys and Girls club and also to a program that has been helping the elderly for over 100 years.

Since Katie started dropping off magazines to our shelter the children really enjoy reading the magazines. When Katie stops by the shelter and drops off the magazines I put labels on them with the children’s name on them to make the magazines personalized. Katie thank you, for the labels. All the children love the magazines. Even though some of the children have moved into housing, they still come back to the shelter to look for the magazines.

There is a 9-year-old third grade boy that resides at the Boston Family Shelter. He was in the shelter for about 2 years. He has been reading below grade level for the past 2 years. He is an excellent reader, he just cannot comprehend what he reads. The first day this boy received his magazine, he said, “Wow!! Cool!!” He began to start reading as soon as he picked the magazine. I was so surprised to see him reading, because he always told me how much he hates to read. About two days later, he told me how he would read his magazine at school during quiet time, and he would let his friends read the magazines also. He reads to his 3-year-old sister more often, and now he is comfortable reading out loud.

The magazines have given this child more confidence. Before the magazines, he would skip over words instead of sounding them out. Now, when he reads, he sounds out the words. Even though he is going to summer school, his reading grade level for the last term went from a D to a B+. That is a great improvement.
The boy’s mother is extremely happy to see he is finally starting to read. Sometimes it is still hard to get him to read a book. When he goes to the library he takes out magazines.

This new beginning is a absolutely amazing for this child. We hope he will continue to improve the next school year. We at the Boston Family Shelter would like to thank Katie and all organizations that donate magazines to our shelter.

Maria
Boston Family Shelter

  • Rocking the Boat

    501(c)(3) charity
    Bronx, NY
    Serving roughly 75 boys and girls (high school)
    Magazines Requested: Wooden Boat magazine, Fine Woodworking, Sail, National Geographic

  • Crittenton Women’s Union

    501(c)(3) Charity
    Boston, MA
    Serving Mothers from age 19-40 and children from infant to 5 years old. Most of the children are between 1 and 2.5 years of age.
    Needs: New or recycled magazines for 58 mother and 52 children.
    Magazines Requested: Magazines appropriate for children and toddlers. Magazines about nature, fashion, beauty, exercise. African American specific and Latina specific magazines. Any general women’s interest magazines.

  • Wave City Care: Shine Program

    501(c)(3) charity
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Serving: Girls in from grades 5th through 12th
    Needs: 50 magazines per month, year round
    Magazines Requested: Girls teen, Career, National Geographic, Fashion, Home, Family, Women, Seventeen, Redbook, Teen Vogue, Self, Good Housekeeping, Home Journal, Ellle, Homes & Garden

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