Writing is a lonely profession. Solitude best describes it. This is rewarded, most often, by the finished product. And of course by meeting your fans and supporters along the way. And being a solitary endeavor, there are very few chances to actually give back to the community.
However, every once in a while an opportunity presents itself that no matter how it is viewed, is a win-win for everybody.
Like LeVar Burton's Reading Rainbow project.
Reading Rainbow made history a few weeks ago by raising almost $6.5 million dollars on Kickstarter to fund the project. Over 109,000 people donated to make it happen. That is astounding. It means that thousands of schools around the country will be able to bring Reading Rainbow and it’s apps into the classroom.
My daughter grew up with Reading Rainbow. So I am intimately familiar with the concept. But LeVar, Michael Wolfe and their dedicated team have taken it to a whole new level, making applications that engage children and encourage them to read in creative and thoughtful ways.
“We found that if children are not reading by the 5th grade, there is a likely chance they will never graduate high Scholl,: LeVar shared with me. “That’s why it is so important to get them engaged and reading early.” His goal is to get every student in the united States to read. Lofty? Of course. But LeVar wouldn’t have it any other way.
I gave personally to the project. I felt It important to help kids read. (and it’s not lost on me that my profession needs readers in the future). But it didn’t seem enough. I wanted to do more.
That is why I have decided to donate 5% of all of my book sales for the next six months.
Will these students buy my books? Don’t know. And truly do not care. As a boy I was given the opportunity to travel the world, visit strange and mysterious lands, meet interesting and historically important people, and be entertained by some of the best story tellers in the world. I want all students to have the same opportunity. That will be good enough for me.
As I said, no matter how I look at it, it is a win-win. Through donating to LeVar’s Reading Rainbow I help create future readers and also help students stay in school - two worthy causes.
I would invite you to stop by Reading Rainbow and see how you can help too. They are still looking for donations, and you too can make a difference.