A 15-year-old girl from West Carleton Secondary School has taken a stand against illiteracy overseas. Addy Strickland has rallied her classmates, from her own school and others, to host book drives throughout the months of March and April, and has organized a community event to fund the shipment of the books overseas.
The event will take place at the Carp Agricultural Hall on Wednesday, April 22 from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Admission is the contribution of a book (or books!) or a monetary contribution to help with the cost of shipping. More than 2,000 books have been collected so far, and it is expected that the drive will continue to be successful!
Attendees will have the opportunity to listen to local authors Michael Stewart and Brenda Chapman as well as student musicians while learning about the issue of illiteracy and helping to make a difference.
But why illiteracy? To our community, illiteracy may not seem like a prominent issue. Most of us grew up having access to schools and libraries, and having been taught to read at a young age, we have little memory of a world without the skill. However, more than 1/7th of our population was not so lucky. Imagine picking up the morning paper, and seeing only a collection of lines and shapes. Imagine driving down the highway and seeing all the road signs in a foreign language. Imagine, walking into a job interview and watching your chances vanish as you tell your interviewer “I can’t read”.
Because you never learned to read, you are forced to take a job with little pay, and your family falls into poverty. Because you need to work long hours to support your household, your children must stay home to collect water, and take care of their chores. They can’t go to school. The same will be true for their children, and their children’s children.
Lack of education and literacy is the root to many of the world’s problems. By sending books overseas to Africa, the continent most affected by these issues, we can help to provide youth who otherwise wouldn’t have been so fortunate with the resources they need to learn to read.
What can you do? Come to the event, spread the word, and donate your old books! Consider making a donation on behalf of your company or your family!
For more information, send Addy an email!