Monday, February 1, 2016

Literacy Organization Donates Thousands of Books to Navajo and Hopi

Katherine Locke, Reporter 
Navajo Hopi Observer

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - School children on and around Hopi and the Navajo Nation received tens of thousands of new children's books over the holidays to take home thanks to Reader to Reader, a Massachusetts literacy organization.

Reader to Reader works on improving literacy in Arizona and New Mexico, across the United States and internationally.

"We pleased to make this large donation just before the holidays in order to get books into children's hands that they can enjoy over winter vacation," said David Mazor, founder and executive director of Reader of Reader. "We had the option of donating these books to any school districts in the country but we selected the districts that are on and near the Navajo and Hopi Nations as part of our ongoing support of literacy for Native children. We especially thank our partner Scholastic Inc. for the mountain of books they have donated."

Mazor said the organization was contacted about a dozen years ago by a school on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico.

"We started helping them build their school library and over time it grew to be a bigger effort with more schools and school districts," he said. "It just got bigger and bigger and bigger."

Over the past decade, Reader to Reader has donated over $2.5 million in books, computers and school supplies to school it has worked with on or near the Navajo Nation and the Hopi reservation.

"We help supply a lot of different things depending on the needs of the school," Mazor said. "We reach a whole lot of different schools that range from one end of the Navajo reservation to the other and also on the Hopi reservation."

Among the school systems receiving thousands of books are: Gallup-McKinley County Public Schools, Gallup, New Mexico; Central Consolidated Schools, Shiprock, New Mexico; Ganado Unified School District, Ganado, Arizona; and Hopi School District, Keams Canyon, Arizona.

"We are so happy to be a recipient of Reader to Reader's and Scholastic's generosity," said Mary Lindenmeyer, library medial coordinator for Gallup-McKinley County Schools in Gallup, New Mexico. "They are such an amazing organization that has had a profound impact on the children in our district."

In all, Reader to Reader is donating 17,000 new books for grades kindergarten through grade 12 totaling $200,000 dollars. The books are provided by Reader to Reader through its partnerships with Scholastic Corp. through The Scholastic Possible Fund, Pioneer Valley Press and several other leading publishers.

The organization works with the publishers for what would be of interest or appropriate to where the donation is going because it donates books all around the world and every place is different in what the kids need and what the kids are interested in. The donations sometimes include textbooks, too.

Mazor said part of the reason for founding the organization was the critical shortage of books in lower income communities around the country and the world.


"I wanted to directly address that problem," he said. "Books just open up and give you a doorway to unlocking imagination. On a practical level, the better you read, the better your job prospects are when you grow up, but also, the more you'll know about the world. Reading itself is such a pleasurable experience that when kids get more books in their lives, they enjoy that."

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hurricane Relief Books Reach the Bahamas


Over a thousand books and school supplies donated by Reader to Reader have reached the Bahamas, where they will help restock schools destroyed by Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015.

We are very happy with the response:

"There is an amazing assortment of books from your group!"

Hurricane Joaquin, which at its peak had wind speeds of 155 MPH, was only the 20th Category 4 or 5 hurricane to impact the island nation in historical records dating all the way back to 1851.

Schools were severely damaged with many losing all their books, computers, furniture and school supplies.

Many homes were completely destroyed, with 87% of the homes on Crooked Island totally destroyed.

We are pleased to be part of the relief effort, and are continuing to ship textbooks, fiction and nonfiction for all grades, and school supplies.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2,500 Books for Maine Children

SANFORD, MAINE - Thousands of low-income children in York County will be taking home new children’s books, thanks to Reader to Reader, a literacy organization based in Massachusetts.
The books were donated to York County Community Action, located on Spruce Street in Sanford. YCCAC will distribute the books to low-income children of all ages in the area.
In all, Reader to Reader is donating 2,500 new books with a total value of $25,000.
The books are being provided by Reader to Reader through its partnerships with Scholastic Corporation through their The Scholastic Possible Fund, Pioneer Valley Press and several other leading publishers.
"Reader to Reader's generous donations of multiple shipments of books have allowed us to offer books to all of our 2,000-plus children that we serve, as well as their older siblings," said Jennifer Quimby, the WIC Program Director at York County Community Action.
David Mazor, the founder and executive director of Reader of Reader, made sure to get the books to YCCAC in time for Christmas.
"We are pleased to make this large donation just before the holidays in order to get books into children’s hands that they can enjoy over winter vacation," he said in a press release a few days before the holiday.
Reader to Reader has a long history of donating books to school and outreach programs in Maine, and has donated over $200,000 in books during the past decade. Based in Amherst, Massachusetts, Reader to Reader, Inc. is a non-profit organization that distributes books and computers to schools and libraries in need. It has donated over 5 million books to schools and libraries in need across the United States and in 19 countries.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Books for Students on the Red Lake Nation


Students at Red Lake High School, on the Red Lake Nation in Minnesota, enjoy their Reader to Reader book donation.

Reader to Reader runs multiple program that support Native American students all across the United States.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Books on the Way to The Bahamas for Hurricane Relief


Hurricane Joaquin, which missed the U.S. mainland in early October, did terrible damage to the Bahamas, especially the country's southern islands.

Hurricane Joaquin, which at its peak had wind speeds of 155 MPH, was only the 20th Category 4 or 5 hurricane to impact the island nation in historical records dating all the way back to 1851.

Schools were severely damaged with many losing all their books, computers, furniture and school supplies.

Many homes were completely destroyed, with 87% of the homes on Crooked Island totally destroyed.

We are pleased to be part of the relief effort, and we are already shipping boxes of books and school supplies.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hope of Haiti Project Continues to Aid Haiti School


Haeinn Woo, the founder of the Hope of Haiti project, recently brought books from Reader to Reader and funds raised by Mt. Holyoke students to the school that is supported in Haiti.

Hope of Haiti is one of eight international projects created and supported through Reader to Reader’s Springboard Program.


Since being established after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, Hope of Haiti has donated books, school supplies and paid teachers’ salaries in order to further education in Haiti.

About the Springboard Program

The Springboard Program brings Five College students into the world of non-profit work through the development and implementation of their own international or domestic literacy project. Springboard guides students through the entire process, teaching them the skills necessary to lead their own literacy project and giving them unparalleled leadership opportunity.

Past Springboard projects have included building a public library in a coffee farming village in Costa Rica, establishing a school to teach women to read in Nigeria, and expanding a special education program in the Dominican Republic.

If you are interested in learning more about the Springboard Program please click here.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Meet Jeanette Ortega, Reader to Reader Navajo Nation Outreach Coordinator


Reader to Reader’s amazing Navajo Nation Outreach Coordinator Jeannette Ortega helps high school students on the Navajo Nation prepare for ACT/SAT tests, college applications, and making the transition to college life.  Here she is in her classroom at Wingate High School, Ft. Wingate, New Mexico.

Reader to Reader’s work on the Navajo Nation is funded in part by the Fordham Street Foundation, Lynn & Jean Miller, and the Hiatt Family Foundation.


This our fourth year having a full-time staff person based on the Navajo Nation, and  just like the Outreach Coordinators that preceded her, Jeannette is doing a spectacular job of helping students prepare for college.


Jeanette is a 2015 graduate of Amherst College, and previously worked as a summer intern for Reader to Reader in 2014.