As most of you know, I’m obsessed with books. I’m currently challenging myself to read 104 books in 2012 (you know, on top of raising a toddler, and working 44+ hours a week) and one of my biggest goals in parenting is to raise a reader. As of yesterday, I had 13 books on hold at the library for Mason. Yikes.
I brought half of them home today (and will go back and get the rest on Friday – don’t want them all to come due at the same time!)
I also subscribe to a bunch of magazines. Parents, Parenting, Redbook, Working Mother, a Wisconsin magazine, and I use to get Ladies Home Journal. The only problem? I never. ever. read magazines anymore. Since I started reading books again in the mid-2010, I’ve barely touched a magazine other than to move it from one pile to another. Once I realized this, I stopped renewing them, but so far that hasn’t helped the fact that I’m still getting 4-5 mags every month and I feel too guilty to throw them away without looking at them.
On Monday, I got two magazines in the mail and decided I should make a rule that if I don’t read it in a week, it goes away. I read both magazines last night and one article caught my eye. Did you know that on average in middle income neighborhoods, there are on average 13 books per child in child care centers, schools, and libraries (you know, like the 13 books on hold for Mason at our local library) but in low income areas, that number drops to 1 book per THREE HUNDRED kids.
These numbers totally broke my heart. As Mason and I read several Halloween and Cars books tonight, I thought about how fortunate we are. How we take so many things for granted.
Organizations like FirstBook.org and Dewey Donation System help place books in underfunded libraries around the US and Canada and I’m sure there are many other organizations out there. I’m going to dig a little deeper and see if I can find some places closer to home to make a difference. Heck, every month our Scholastic Book Order offers a dozen books for $1 each. Even $5 would bring 5 books to kids who might not have them. Even with limited funds, I can do that!
So as I help raise a child who loves to read, I hope to reach out and help less fortunate kids have a chance to be surrounded with fun and exciting books too.
What causes inspire you to reach out? What small things make you feel fortunate? And what the heck should I do with 3 years worth of unread magazines?!
This post was not sponsored in any way shape or form by any company or charity mentioned herein.