I’ve been working on a committee with a local Arizona organization called SouthWest Human Development. This group is very active in the community as helps give out tons of free books to local kids, as well providing free services like the Birth-Five hotline to help parents (which is especially awesome if you are a first time parent and have no clue what you are doing), Head Start, counseling services for families, and other great programs. In Arizona, according to Literacy Connects, “Only 13% of Arizona children entering kindergarten meet benchmark early literacy skills. 74% of Arizona fourth-graders test below proficient in reading.” These are staggering statistics, especially as the Phoenix Metro area has the highest concentration of libraries for any place I’ve ever lived in.
The committee is called Books for Babies and Toddlers Too (or BfBTT for short) and the purpose is to raise money for literacy programs for the organization after some of its funding was cut. They are doing that by looking for authors who will create a developmentally appropriate picture book. For more info, check out the contest here. It is running from July 15-Sept 15. So the Books for Babies and Toddlers Too committee, myself included, are asking for donations to help help fund literacy programs, and please take the time to support this worthy cause before the donation period ends on Aug 6. They are looking to raise $10,000 to help getting the book published. Please become a champion for literacy and help get this book published, so that SWHD can provide quality books for local children.