Magazine Lovers Seed Largest Free Literacy Market on Earth
Trenton, NJ — Celebrating Earth Month on April 30 and May 1, MagazineLiteracy.org will open the world’s largest free literacy market in Trenton, New Jersey, Columbus, Ohio, and Madison, Wisconsin, stocked with recycled magazines supplied by publishers and consumers to feed a million eager at-risk readers by the United Nation’s International Literacy Day. Literacy programs will be able to shop for reading materials at no cost.
“Literacy ends poverty,” explains John Mennell, founder of MagazineLiteracy.org. “With titles for every reading age and interest, magazines are enormously powerful literacy engines. Food pantries, homeless and domestic violence shelters, youth mentoring, job training, foster care programs, and teachers and libraries serving at-risk readers will choose from a mountain of magazines supplied by Highlights for Kids, Scholastic, National Geographic, Conde Nast, Hearst, Time Inc., Active Interest Media, Meredith, Guideposts, Yankee, Fun for Kidz, Cobblestone, and more,” he added.
Agencies and educators can see what’s available and register at this link to attend the open market, and volunteers needed to help run the literacy markets can sign-up here too:
“Spanning both Earth Month and May Day, the Literacy Markets are opening during the most crucial time of year to fill hands and homes with reading materials, when kids will soon to be out of school for summer, and academic gains are at greatest risk,” explained Mennell.
Illustrating the enormous need for reading materials, nationwide, Mennell notes that, according to Reading is Fundamental, two-thirds of poor children and families have zero books at home. “Our Literacy Markets can fix that today,” he said. “Researchers say that poor infants hear 30 million fewer words when their brains are wiring for life. By supplying favorite magazines, we can close that gap. Each night, 35,000 women and children seek the safety of a domestic violence shelter. By sharing the magazines we love, we can comfort and empower them tonight. There are over a million homeless students hidden in every school district in America. With a simple act of kindness – gifting a favorite magazine to read, we can show that they are not invisible, and give them hope for a better tomorrow,” he added.
MagazineLiteracy.org is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization – the first and only literacy project that partners with consumers and publishers, world-wide, to end illiteracy and poverty, by supplying new and recycled magazines and comics to at-risk readers via food pantries, homeless and domestic violence shelters, youth mentoring and job training programs, foster care, teachers and libraries.
The Literacy Market is modeled on gleaning and foodbanking, feeding magazines and comics to people hungry to read via the same supply chain that delivers food to food pantries, school backpacks, and hot meals to elderly. By supplying reading materials, MagazineLiteracy.org helps to heal the illiteracy, underemployment, and poverty that are at the root of hunger and food insecurity. For example, MagazineLiteracy.org supplies culinary magazines to nutrition education programs, and to homeless and unemployed people training to become chefs. The project has distributed hundreds of thousands of magazines and comics via community literacy programs, including 2,000 Owl for Kids and National Geographic magazines, and comics airlifted to Inuit children north of the Arctic Circle, US Lacrosse magazines sent to a team forming in Croatia, a barrel of Highlights for Kids sent to Caribbean students, and supplies readied for school children and families in India, Sri Lanka, and coast to coast in the U.S. The organization’s first recycling project was organized by a classroom of kindergarten children in San Francisco.
Funding, logistical, and promotional support has been supplied by Quad/Graphics, Schneider, Ryleco Displays, the Majeski Foundation, TruScribe, Widen, Quint & Quint, Urban Land Interests, the Isles Mill One, the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, PSCS Consulting, Mr. Magazine, ShineUnited, Eco Friendly Printer, FIPP, PBAA, and the MPA – Association of Magazine Media. Technology services are provided by Automattic WordPress VIP, Google, the Salesforce Foundation, Bendyworks, Zapier, Technoviz, and Staunchire Technologies.