Literacy ends poverty. Reading is where it all begins. Join us.

Do things because they are hard – our magazine literacy moonshot

by John Mennell

foot-print-iconI just received my google chromecast and fired up a favorite speech on YouTube to try it out – President Kennedy’s speech at Rice University about rocketing to the moon.

William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage…But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic.

WE choose to go to the moon. WE choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win…

John Kennedy

This challenge – to do things because they are hard – drives to be all it can be.

We have embarked on our own moonshot with Magazine Harvest – a nationwide campaign to channel millions of available magazines into the hands and homes of at-risk children and families via the vast network of food bank warehouses, food pantries, and nutrition and job training programs – so feeding children and families hungry to read.

During recent meetings with local literacy agencies, we’ve heard many times that reading materials for children “fly off the shelf,” which is wonderful, but presents two hard challenges that we need to rise to meet in order to fulfill our promise.

1. Although there are millions of magazines available for literacy throughout the supply chain – children’s magazines – which are so transformative for establishing a life-long love of reading – are more difficult to procure. Help us to meet this challenge.

2. Although children’s reading materials move quickly from shelf to hands and homes, we need new ideas and new methods for delivery of consumer publications, with as much transformative power, to teens and adults in literacy, mentoring, and job training programs. Help lead this quest.

Join with us to do these things – not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

  • Hathaway-Sycamores’ Family Resource Center

    501(c)(3) Charity, Family Resource Center
    160 bilingual children per month ranging from a 1st to 6th grade reading level
    Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Needs: 160 magazines
    Magazines Requested: any nature magazines, any sports magazines, any leadership magazines, any education magazines, any travel magazines and any appropriate entertainment magazines.

  • 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.

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