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Second Readers Choice Literacy Grant Doubles Total Awards to $40,000 for Literacy, Selects Two Winners
ATLANTA, GA (June 30, 2010) - Better World Books announces today that Invisible Children and Cooperative for Education as the winners of $20,000 each towards literacy initiatives. Online consumers and visitors to the Better World web site voted to name Invisible Children the most deserving submission, while an internal Better World Books Literacy Committee selected Cooperative for Education. Better World Books collects and sells new and used books online, donating a portion of each sale to help fund literacy initiatives worldwide.
Better World Books received proposals from over 50 literacy-focused organizations. An internal literacy committee of volunteers from Better World's staff narrowed the field to fifteen finalists, then opened up the review process to customers, who were invited to vote on their top pick. The literacy committee then selected a second finalist for receipt of a grant award.
The Cooperative for Education (CoEd) is a Cincinnati, OH, and Guatemala City-based 501 non-profit organization. By promoting traditional and technological literacy, CoEd's sustainable programs help Guatemala's vulnerable children gain vital skills and break the cycle of poverty. Its Culture of Reading Program (CORP) improves the quality of education in rural Guatemalan schools and increases literacy for indigenous Mayan children.
The CORP program aims to address inadequate teacher training and materials in order to improve literacy levels in rural Guatemala. Children there typically read three years below grade level. Support from Better World Books will help provide 65 primary-school teachers in rural Guatemala with training in effective reading instruction and 2,340 books for their classrooms.
"We are thrilled that Better World Books has chosen to partner with Cooperative for Education. In rural Guatemala, literacy is a real challenge," said Ann Dempsey, Development Manager for CoEd. "But Better World Books is changing all of this for over two thousand students. Now, their teachers will have the ability to teach more effectively, and the students will have both the books and the opportunity to cultivate a lifelong love of reading."
Invisible Children is a non-governmental organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for war-affected people in northern Uganda through education and economic opportunities.
Through the Readers' Choice grant, Invisible Children will provide comprehensive literacy training to 400 individuals displaced by the conflict and now returning to their ancestral homes. These 400 participants will use their literacy skills, paired with microfinance training, to help create and manage small businesses that will change the lives of their families, create opportunities for friends and neighbors, and advance the economic standing of their community at large.
"We're confident to say that we have the greatest supporters in the entire world. Beyond a shadow of a doubt," said Jay Woodcock, CFO of Invisible Children. "Whether your dedication looks like displacing yourself for a night in the streets, or voting online to see through a $20,000 literacy grant - we move mountains because you make it possible. We're so thankful to Better World Books and for their efforts towards paving the way in ethical and sustainable business. We love them. We love you."
The Reader's Choice Literacy Grant, awarded every six months, is part of Better World Books' continued effort to raise awareness and encourage involvement in literacy initiatives within its global community. The grant will be supported by the Better World Books General Literacy Fund, financed from the sale of books not designated to a Better World Books nonprofit literacy partner. Application details are available at http://www.betterworldbooks.com/rclg.
"There have been so many highly qualified applicants for the Readers Choice Literacy Grant, it was great that our community enabled us to double the grant this time and award it to two organizations," said Better World Books CEO David Murphy. "We're delighted readers voted to award one of the grants to our non-profit literacy partner, Invisible Children. And we're equally pleased that our literacy committee could select such a strong program in CoEd for a $20,000 grant."
Every book bought on BetterWorldBooks.com funds global literacy through Better World Books' five primary non-profit literacy partners (the National Center for Family Literacy, Books for Africa, Room to Read, Worldfund, and Invisible Children), as well as nearly 100 other non-profit organizations.
ABOUT BETTER WORLD BOOKS
Better World Books (www.BetterWorldBooks.com) is a for-profit social enterprise that collects and sells books online with each sale generating funds for literacy initiatives in the U.S. and around the world. With more than eight million new and used titles in stock, Better World Books is a self-sustaining company that balances the social, economic and environmental values of its stakeholders. Better World Books diverts books from landfills by conducting book drives on 1,800 college campuses, and by collecting discards from over 2,000 libraries nationwide. Since its founding in 2003, the Mishawaka, Ind.-based company has raised over $8 million for its non-profit literacy, library and college partners; donated over 1.5 million college textbooks; diverted more than 32 million pounds of books from landfills; achieved over 11,000 tons of carbon offsets through carbon-neutral shipping, and created more than 200 full-time jobs with meaningful benefits.
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