Monday, June 9, 2014

Support Literacy and Writing Through These Amazing Programs

There are some amazing things happening online right now, and if you support literacy, you should absolutely check them out.

For those of you who don't know, Kickstarter is a place where people can pitch a project they want to do, and people can pledge money to support the project. If they get enough money to make their goal happen, then they keep the money pledged. If they don't--they don't. It's an all or nothing deal, and there are some amazing Kickstarters going on right now that I want to make sure you all know about!

First up is the North Texas Teen Book Festival. This program is run by people I've worked with in the past (Irving Public Library is one of the best library systems I've had the honor of working with), and they're trying to start a book festival in their area. These are amazing kids who dearly love reading, and I want them to succeed so much.

If you're in the Texas area, they have some amazing perks for people who contribute and can attend the festival--and even if you're not in the area, a $5 donation will help this program get one step closer to giving a large group of wonderful teens a fantastic experience. They're at about 20% of their goal now and they have a month to raise the rest of the funds, but remember: this is all or nothing. If they don't reach their goal at the end of the month, they get nothing and the Teen Book Festival may die.

I'm sure by now that most of you have heard about one of the most famous and successful Kickstarters in support of literacy--the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter. While they already have their initial goal (of a million dollars!), Reading Rainbow is shooting for a higher goal now to bring their program--and a love of reading--to even more children.

I remember Reading Rainbow fondly from when I was a child. The thing that always stood out to me was the children's book reviews of books. It wasn't an adult talking down to me to tell me to read a book; it was a kid my age excited about a book, and that made me excited, too. Reading Rainbow really is one of those programs that I truly believe helps children love to read, and if you agree, consider supporting the program and helping them help a new generation of kids.

It's not all about money, though. There's a new program launched on Tumblr called We Need Diverse Books, and they've just launched a summer reading program that compares diverse titles to popular books to encourage more people to try something new. You can read more about the program here, but definitely consider following their tumblr as well as you don't miss out on a single new title!

And finally, one for fun--it's not about literacy, but it IS about writing, and I can't help myself. If you follow my Twitter, you'll know that for the last few days I've been tweeting about an amazing keyboard. It is basically my dream keyboard--it looks and feels and sounds like an old typewriter, but it works with computers. Here, see for yourself:

The only problem? This keyboard doesn't exist yet. It's a part of a Kickstarter campaign to manufacture the keyboards, and it's only at 20% of its goal. So tell your writer friends! The board is pricey, but it looks like it'll be amazing, and I really hope they get made! You can read more about the project here. And to watch it in action--including some of that sweet, sweet clacky-keys reminiscent of typewriters, click here.

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