Feeding people hungry to read – International Literacy Day mobilization delivers 275,000 magazines to kids and families
Hoboken, NJ — Marking the United Nation’s celebration of International Literacy Day on September 8th, New Jersey Assemblyman Carmelo G. Garcia (D-Hudson), a lifelong champion of education and basic human rights, has teamed with MagazineLiteracy.org to mobilize the statewide Rise Up for Literacy campaign to deliver 275,000 children’s and consumer magazines to literacy programs via the Community Food Bank of New Jersey and Long Island Cares. The magazines are available at no cost for at-risk readers in schools, mentoring, job training, homeless and domestic violence shelters, foster care, and food pantries. Fueled by magazines from consumers and publishers, the Rise Up for Literacy campaign seeks 1 million magazines pledged for literacy nationwide by Earth Day 2015.
Over 275,000 magazines have already been received from Conde Nast, Hearst, Fun for Kidz, Highlights for Children, Cobblestone, and the New Jersey based Comag Marketing Group, with pledges from National Geographic, Active Interest Media, Sappi, and others. Realizing a long-time dream to marry the magazine and foodbank supply chains, hundreds of thousands of magazines are being distributed by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey and Long Island Cares in areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.
Get magazines for literacy on Saturday, Sept. 13
Assemblyman Garcia is mobilizing volunteers and literacy programs to Riseup for Literacy at the Community Food Bank of New Jersey warehouse at 31 Evans Terminal on Saturday, September 13 from 9 AM to 2 PM. Magazines will be available for distribution at the Food Bank.
“The more varied reading materials in the home, the better students perform according to the Educational Testing Service,“ said Garcia. “This initiative will ensure New Jersey residents who need it most gain access to a plethora of magazines that are educational and fun. If we can create a spark and ignite a love for learning in our youth, we can uplift and empower a whole generation to reach their full potential,” he added.
“With titles for every reading level and interest, magazines are the new face of literacy and enormously powerful, especially for reluctant readers,” said John Mennell, founder of MagazineLiteracy.org. “We need to reach millions more hungry to read,” he added.
“Freedom and prosperity depend on literacy. A child unable to read is a child lost, unable to learn any subject. Adults unable to read were once children who didn’t learn how,” explains Mennell. “Our mission is to pay the beautiful magazines we love forward into hands, homes, and hearts to end poverty, and to empower readers to achieve their dreams,” he added.
At the same time that tens of millions of recyclable magazines are available for literacy throughout the magazine supply chain, Reading is Fundamental says that two-thirds of children in poverty have no books at home. The U.S. Dept. of Education reports there are over 1 million homeless students with over 6,000 in New Jersey alone. According to the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults and 1 in 5 high school graduates in the U.S. are unable to read – food labels, health instructions, job or home applications, or web pages. The American Academy of Pediatrics has prescribed immunizing kids against illiteracy.
“Imagine the reach possible by marshalling a magazine industry-wide response to literacy,” said Mennell. “We have the opportunity to extend the life and to multiply the value of every single magazine created. To reach our full promise, we need publishers and editors and every industry stakeholder to walk with us on this journey and to tell our stories to inspire all the citizens of the world to rise up for literacy,” said Mennell.