Kids Helping Kids Read
Fighting Childhood Illiteracy: Revisited
Kids helping kids is one of the most inspiring things that can happen when they get involved in community service. We recently published a post about How Kids can help fight childhood illiteracy, and sited several shocking statistics about the effects of childhood illiteracy, such as:
2/3 of children who cannot read by the end of the fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare
One child in 4 grows up not being able to read
As a follow up to that piece we want to talk about the impact one inspired girl has had, and how other kids can get involved to help supply the tools kids around the world need to learn to read and become proficient readers.
Kids Helping Kids Read: Maria Keller and Read Indeed
At age 8 Maria Keller loved to read and quickly learned that not every child has books to read. Maria says, “When I learned how many kids in the world don’t have even one book in their home, I was shocked.” Knowing what she would be missing if she did not have access to books, she decided that she wanted to do something to help. In order to make a difference in the world around her she started Read Indeed, a non-profit organization that wants to make the world a better place, one book at a time. “I have learned how vital it is that kids have the tools to learn how to read and to become proficient readers. I just want to do my part to help make that happen, because being literate has a dramatic effect on their ability to provide for themselves when they grow up,” explains 13 year-old Founder and CEO Maria Keller.
Maria is a shining example of the power of one kid to change the world. At age 8 when Maria started her push to provide books to kids in need her goal was to provide 1 million books. 5 years later she has already eclipsed that goal by collecting books valued at over $4 Million, and keeps on moving. She has gotten national recognition on the Ellen Show, and has recently been awarded the prestigious Jefferson Award for public service. Moved by the award’s namesake who said, “I cannot live without books,” Maria strives to fulfill Jefferson’s legacy, and says, “as I continue in my mission, I learn that the number of kids who have no books are in the hundreds of millions. So I just can’t give up even after reaching my original goal of 1 million books distributed.”
Kids helping kids get the tools they need to learn to read, and embrace the love of reading is a great way to get kids involved in community service. Maria and Read Indeed offer lots of opportunities for others to get involved. If you live in the Minneapolis area you can help in person. They open the Read Indeed warehouse the 2nd Saturday and 4th Friday of every month for volunteers to sort/count books, drop off donated books, and for organizations to pick up books for the kids they serve. If you would like to sign up to help in person click here. If you don’t live close to their warehouse you can host your own book drive and even utilize the read indeed name and logo to help promote it. Click here for more information on hosting your own book drive for kids in need of books in your area.
Start A Snowball is proud to award Maria a grant to help her further her goal of making the world a better place one book at a time. If you would like to apply for a grant to support a kid’s community service project click the button below.