My fellow lit-mag editor Jen Pieroni works as a grant writer for Jumpstart and is currently working on Read For the Record, which purchases numerous copies of a single book (this year, it's The Story of Ferdinand) in order to help disadvantaged children learn to read.
I think Jen said it best in her email:
"One of the statistics that literally dumbfounds me is that children in economically depressed communities have 0-2 age appropriate books in their homes. 61 percent do not have any books at all. As a writer and someone who loves books, can you even imagine?
So we're doing Jumpstart's Read for the Record to raise awareness about these disparities between disadvantaged children and their more privileged peers, while also providing low-income children and families with a beautiful book, which includes tips for families for how to make the most of reading time with young kids.
We chose The Story of Ferdinand because of its great message of being true to oneself. It's about this totally self-actualized Spanish bull who's really just content to sit in the pasture and smell the flowers even though he could probably be getting a lot of glory be fighting like all of the other bulls. It's the perfect message for the kids we're working with."
Jen has generously donated some of her own money to the cause. Want help disadvantaged kids learn to read? Donate at Jen's page and help her make her $1,000 goal!