Monday, September 26, 2011

Literacy—Read, Write and Think!

This past summer I went to Open Books for a volunteer orientation. Open Books is all about promoting literacy in Chicago and elsewhere. They work hard, utilizing volunteers, to make young and old literate through social events, programs and field trips.

This is taken from The New York Times article by Jessica Reaves. It is estimated that about 23% of American adults do not have basic reading skills—they are unable to read directions (medications), look for employment or take care of their finances. Chicago’s illiteracy suffers with “53% of adults having low or limited literacy skills”. The numbers might not be exact  but the fact is this city and country should not have a problem with illiteracy.

Since I’m unemployed I decided to do some volunteer work, and what better place to volunteer at than with books. Today I woke up early, got ready and drove to the Open Books warehouse. It has definitely been a long time since I woke that early and had to look presentable. LOL! Anyways, when I walked into the place it was full of boxes of books donated by people. The guys working there set me up on a computer to scan the books for resale. It’s amazing how many people donate, and what is even more amazing are the books people buy. There were old 60's and 70's cook books, travel books and 80's workout books. Do you remember Susan Powter? “Stop the Insanity!” I guess this catchphrase can be used for illiteracy. 

I enjoyed my volunteer work and wanted to share my experience with you, continue volunteering and hopefully I can pay it forward. Aside from the bookstore on Institute Place, they resell books on different websites—Amazon being one of them. (The bookstore is setup so cute. The picture of the fireplace on this post is from the store.) On Amazon, the books are sold under used. So if you are ever browsing for a book, click on used and search for Open Books to help fund literacy.

My next topic has nothing to do with literacy and everything to do with winning.

Did you watch the Bears vs. Green Bay game? The outcome of this game really makes me mad because a) I don’t like Green Bay and b) the Bears could have won the game if offense knew how to block and catch, and Devin Hester learned how to keep his temper in check. *rant over*
Have a great day!


  1. LOL... Susan Powter! Now there's a blast from the past! Good for you for getting out there and doing some volunteer work. Too bad the Open Books store wasn't closer to where I live. I have a feeling I'd be in there all the time (I love shopping for books at the thrift stores around here).

    Those are some grim statistics about illiteracy. But I'll keep my eyes peeled for the Open Books name if I'm ever shopping for used books on amazon. That might be a small part I can play in helping.

    And speaking of grim, yes, the Bears game was bad. Doubly frustrating b/c it was against Green Bay.

  2. Those statistics are grim and sad, and here our state has cut back on teachers and salaries.

    Yep I'm going to keep an eye on Open Books on Amazon too.

    Da Bears--Da Stumble