Love Letters for Literacy
A Peacemaking Project by Jordan G.
What is the injustice we are solving?
Love Letters for Literacy seeks to promote childhood literacy by enabling children to have fun while learning the letters of the alphabet.
Our Compassionate Solution:
To solve this injustice of Educational Inequality
we will address Childhood Literacy
by teaching children to learn their letters of the alphabet in a fun and engaging way!
Our Project Plan:
- To engage families in the process of teaching their children the letters of the alphabet and how to read.
- To recruit volunteers across the country to join us by creating Love Letters for Literacy packets to distribute in under-served communities.
- To spread Love Letters for Literacy across the country, and even the world!
We will increase my / our compassion by...
To overcome the disparity among pre school children learning the building blocks to read, we will address the lack of educational resources that underserved children possess by providing them with handmade colorful and fun literacy packets. I will increase my compassion by seeking feedback from the teachers and families with young children to understand their obstacles to promoting literacy in underserved communities. I will discuss with the teachers how they think I can better connect with families so that they can play these educational games with their children at home.
How will you show courage?
I will show courage by managing groups of volunteers of all ages, including adults, to work with me to create the packets and visit schools to implement this project. I will also show courage by speaking to groups of children to teach them about my project.
How will you collaborate with others?
I will collaborate with others in many ways: 1. I will work with volunteers of all ages to create the packets, including children, teens, college students, adults, and the special needs community. 2. I will work with volunteers from service organizations to play Love Letters for Literacy games with under-served children. 3. I will collaborate with principals and administrators from schools and libraries where I will bring my project. 4. I will also collaborate with Bags of Books (www.bagsofbooks.org) to provide a bag full of books to children who receive my Love Letters for Literacy packets. 5. I will also collaborate with a non-profit which operates abroad in Bosnia and wants to bring this project to orphans in that country.
How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)
I will know I am moving in the right direction when I: 1. obtain feedback from the students that they enjoyed the presentation and were excited to take home the packets to share with their families. 2. hear from teachers and administrators that the students and families used the packets and it helped them learn to read. 3. am invited back to schools to work with more children.
- I already created a website, www.lovelettersliteracy.org.
- I already have an active Facebook page . LoveLettersLiteracyProject
- I will continue to recruit more volunteers across the country to make Love Letters packets. We are currently operating in several states and have run a program in Fiji as well.
- I will continue to find schools who would like me to bring Love Letters to their students.
- I will continue to work with libraries and schools to create family literacy events.
How did the project deepen your team's understanding of the injustice?
By working with team members in different countries and across the United States, I have learned that childhood literacy spans the world. I also learned that each team that is helping us bring Love Letters to their community adapts the curriculum to suit the needs of the affected children. Without access to a educational equality, children are hindered in becoming successful citizens and students...and face an uphill battle.
How did your community change as a result of your project?
My project puts literacy packets in the hands of the families of young children who live in lower income communities. We provide them with the tools to make learning the alphabet fun! We have received thank you notes from families and teachers that let us know the difference Love Letters makes! I received a citation from the Camden County Literacy Workforce Board recognizing our work for the difference we have made in one of the counties in the United States with the lowest incomes and highest rates of illiteracy. We have been invited back to the Head Start classrooms to continue to work with their children.
How many people were impacted by your project?
Explain how you came up with the number of people impacted by the project?
Each child who receives a packet which includes games to play, a hand written letter from a volunteer, and 26 alphabet hand made cards is counted as one person.
How did your team learn more about the people affected by the injustice?
Our team members around the world and in the United States visit the classrooms and orphanages where our target audience is to meet them children who are affected by the injustice. When I attend family literacy events where I donate Love Letters packets I meet the families as well.
What did your team learn?
We learned that even young children with ideas can make a difference when they try! When I founded this project at 10 years old I never imagined in 5 years I would have been able to help so many other children learn to read as well as inspire so many volunteers of all ages to join my cause!
What challenges did your team overcome?
Overcoming the cost of obtaining the paper and markers needed to carryout the project. We also had to figure out how to translate the curriculum into all the languages needed where we now operate.
How have you involved others in designing, carrying out, or expanding this project?
Yes! We have volunteers of all ages who have helped. Our Love Letters volunteers include Wharton college students who have used their business skills to provide us with advice to expand the project. We also have volunteers who have brought our templates to their communities to help children in many places including a small rural village in Fiji, an orphanage in Bosnia, a refugee center in Toronto, a nursery school for children exposed to abuse in Philadelphia, etc.
What advice would you give to someone starting a peacemaking project?
Just do it! Any one of any age can make a difference if they try. You won't know what an impact you can have until you go for it.