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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

  • Maryland Correctional Institution–Jessup (MCIJ)

    School or Library
    Jessup, Maryland
    Serving male adults 18-60 years of age. From pre-literacy to varying reading levels.
    Needs magazines for 30 students monthly
    Magazines Requested: Students enjoy nonfiction magazines with lots of pictures and short articles–this would include magazines about animals, geography, science, food, clothing, anything relevant to today’s world. National Geographic for Kids would be wonderful.

  • Henderson Middle School

    School or Library
    Students Grades 6-8
    Richmond, VA USA
    Needs: 75 Magazines
    Magazines Requested Oprah, Ebony, Cobblestone, Highlights, Cricket, Calliope, OWL, Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated for Kids, National Geographic for Kids, Kids Discover, ASK, Ranger Rick, Zoobooks, Dig, Boys Life, Teen Magazines and Music Related Titles.

  • 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

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