I Challenge You

I'm issuing a challenge to all book bloggers. This is no reading challenge but it's an issue that I know is near and dear to all of our hearts. It's about getting books into the hands of children. It's about getting books into school classrooms. It's about spreading our love of books with younger generations - the future readers, writers, authors, bloggers, educators and librarians.

Do you know about the DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge? The BlogHer Contributing Editors' (I am one in case you don't know) have created their own challenge page and Mrs. L's classroom was the cause that I chose.

How many of you have fond memories of your elementary school's library? How many of you had a classroom library? How did these help you develop your current love of books?

I want to tell you about Mrs L's classroom in Mississippi. Mrs L teaches 75 sixth grade students. Her students read below national literary proficiency levels. According to national standards their school library is not sufficient to meet her students needs. Did you hear that? Do I need to say it again? Ok.

According to national standards their school library is not sufficient to meet her students needs.

Did your heart just break a little? Mine did.

Mrs L wants to create a classroom library for her students. In their history class they are exploring the countries of the western hemisphere and she wants her students to get to know their northern neighbours, Canadians, a little bit better. Their school library does have some non-fiction books but she says they "are unable to convey how the people feel about their country, about there experiences as Canadians, nor connect my students to the people." Canadian fiction is rich and diverse. She believes that through exploring the romance, adventure, comedies, mysteries, etc of Canadian fiction her students will "understand the richness of the Canadian culture, customs, and struggle."

Mrs L is one of us my book blogging friends. She told me in her own words on the DonorsChoose Reading Canadian Authors page.
As the second child of a single mother of five, I struggled to learn how to read. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the adventures of Pippi Longstocking that I understood the necessity of reading. It allowed me to unlock my imagination. I was able to explore the cultures, customs, and struggles of character from around the world. My life has been enriched by the experiences that reading has afforded me.

She wants to share that with her students. And we can help her.

I am challenging you, my readers and fellow bloggers, to donate just $1 to her cause.

That's all. $1. Not even enough for a latte. It's the change in your pocket. It's not a lot individually but there's power in numbers and if we all band together we can fill Mrs L classroom with books. Books like Jacob Two-Two, Anne of Green Gables and Dead Water Zone. We can provide those kids with some scope for imagination.

But I'm going to raise the stakes on this. After you donate your $1 and leave a message on the donors board for Mrs L's classroom I want to you come back here and leave a comment on this post. I want you to blog and and come back here and leave me a comment with the link. When you do this I will enter you into a draw for a Canadian Literature prize pack (contents yet to be determined) that I will draw for on November 1.

If we complete Mrs L's before the end of the month I will update this post with a second project that focuses on literary.

Together we can books into the hands of children. Every $1 donation counts. Give.