Current Service Projects
One of KRA's goals is to support international literacy projects. One international project is the continuing effort to support Ethiopia Reads, led by LeAnn Clark. Lives are being changed! In the past LeAnn (with others) has assisted in supplying a library, presented professional development sessions and shared her love of reading with fellow educators in Ethiopia. I would like to continue to support LeAnn's leadership and contact with Ethiopia.
This year our feature is Bring a Book Buy a Book (BABBAB). It is a program that any school can do-kids "run it." Children bring gently used books and donate one- and then buy one for a low price and the proceeds go to purchase books for Ethiopia- it even gives them the chance to support the book publishers there and then we don't have to pay the shipping. CLICK HERE for more information or go to http://www.ethiopiareads.org.
Electronic Book Bags:
The Kansas Reading Association recently launched the Electronic Book Bag project. It is intended to assist families by providing them with questions about and activities for the picture books they are reading. CLICK HERE to check out this interactive website. This project is sponsored by the Lawrence Area Reading Council.
Heart of America Foundation:
KRA is supporting the Heart of America Foundation as it strives to promote volunteer service and literacy. For more information see the foundation's website at www.heart of america.org
Past Service Projects
KRA helped with the recovery efforts in Oklahoma following destructive tornadoes that devastated the area. We assisted by providing books and school supplies for the schools that were effected.
The opportunity for literacy is a gift taken for granted by most students in our country. For children in many developing countries around the world, learning to read is a privilege beyond their grasp. Teachers, books and other reading resources are simply inaccessible.
Jane Kurtz, internationally acclaimed author of children's books and young adults, spent much of her childhood in the African country of Ethiopia. Those experiences shaped her thoughts and are present in many of her delightful stories.
Ethiopian native, Gebregeorgis Yohannes, completed his education to become a librarian after entering the U.S. as a political refugee. He has returned to his native homeland to open a reading room for children in the country's capital city of Addis Ababa. Many Ethiopian schools have as little as one book for every hundred students. Public libraries are nonexistent or found in cities far removed from many villages. Literacy in this third world country hovers at 35% for adults and even less for girls.
The Kansas Reading Association joins Jane and Yohannes in the Ethiopian Books for Children and Educational Fund (EBCEB) in an international project named Book$ and a Buck. This special project enables members to collect books for Ethiopian children.
Through local KRA reading councils and the efforts of others interested in worldwide literacy, new and gently-used books will be shipped to a recently opened reading room in Addis Ababa. KRA encourages members to accompany each book with a contribution of one dollar which will assist in defraying the cost of shipping, but donations without financial support are also welcome.
We can make a difference in other lands. Through the power of literacy, we can touch the lives and shape the futures of children in Ethiopian cities and villages. Please join KRA, Jane Kurtz and Yohannes in their effort through your gifts to the KRA Book$ and a Buck project. you can create change in our world with your contributions. Contact LeAnn Clark.
Chapman, Kansas was hit by a tornado in June 2008. The schools sustained extensive damage. Councils were invited to contribute to funds for restocking the library shelves in the elementary/middle school library and the high school library.
Bilingual Reading Materials:
Bilingual reading materials and basic school supplies were provided to a low-income school near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The school has limited reading materials and few supplies. This project involved KRA collaborating with Rotary International as we both worked to enhance literacy world-wide.
KRA sponsored the "Russia Reads" international project. Councils chose one or more magazine subscriptions for School #23 in Vladimir, Russia. This benefitted teachers and students in not only practicing reading English, but in learning about the world.