This story comes from the matching donor for our Put a Book in Their Hands campaign who wishes to remain anonymous. The names used in this story are fictional.
The importance of giving back was something that Natalie, mother of 12-year-old Nick, wanted to instill upon her son. She wanted Nick to be aware and appreciative of the support system that surrounded him, as there are others who are not as fortunate to the same support system. She challenged her son to be more involved in his community and find a cause that he would like to support and he chose literacy.
Reading was an impactful part of both their lives growing up. Natalie vividly recalls an afternoon when her aunt forgot to pick her up to take her to a school book fair. As a way of making it up to her, Natalie’s aunt rushed to drive her back just in time to pick out what would become a treasured item from her childhood, a copy of “What Bunny Loves”. To this day, that book poses as a reminder of how her aunt invested in her literacy skills. Years later, she had the book framed and re-gifted the book to her aunt.
Natalie instilled the same importance on literacy when helping her son develop his reading skills. She recalls one night, sitting with Nick slowing working through sounding out difficult words, she couldn’t help but wonder how her life would have been different without someone by her side who pushed her to work on her literacy skills. Would she be where she was if someone didn’t invest the time into helping her grow and improve her literacy skills?
Nick knew that he always had the support of a parent or family member around him that could help him with his reading skills. Even when his mother didn’t have time to sit by his bedside to read to him, he would have tapes of her, his aunt or another family member reading some of his favourite stories. Learning to read with his mother by his side had a large impact on how he approached reading and learning. So, when she proposed he find a cause to support, he gravitated towards literacy.
He began to save up money from a part-time job, birthdays, holidays and other odd jobs to put towards a charity supporting children’s literacy. His mother and grandparents noticed his commitment and decided to match his efforts, which would end up inspiring ONE TO ONE’s Put a Book in Their Hands campaign. They found that ONE TO ONE’s mission of connecting struggling readers to trained literacy tutors to be a cause that related to their journey and the ones of countless other families. They could see the importance of having that constant supportive person by a young reader’s side.
Put a Book in Their Hands draws upon the importance of a child not only developing strong literacy skills, but also gaining confidence in their abilities and establishing literacy skills that set them up for future success.
Nick would like to challenge you to match his donation today and inspire the next generation of readers by empowering them to choose a book that will encourage them to continue working on their reading skills.