As Mortimer J. Adler wrote in the preface of the 1972 version of his classic How to Read a Book, “the educators of the country have acknowledged that teaching the young to read, in the most elementary sense of that word, is our paramount educational problem.” It’s been 40 years since that revised guide was published, but the tool and ideas within it are still as vital today, especially for children and students.
Lisette Mendez, program coordinator for the Miami Book Fair International, knows this, as do the fair’s supporters.
“We give away books to children who come to the fair,” she said. “We are lucky to have the support of foundations and donors. Children treasure the books we give to them, the mere act of owning books empowers them, that sense of ownership gives them confidence, and having the book around gives them the chance to read it more often.”
In the hopes of raising funds so they can give even more books away in 2013, MBFI is participating in Give Miami Day — a unique, online giving event sponsored by the Miami Foundation. Until tonight at midnight the Miami community has the opportunity to build a greater city through philanthropy. The 24-hour donation event will ignite Miami to support hundreds of non-profits making a difference in Miami-Dade County. Each non-profit created its own profile, allowing existing and potential donors to see the mission, work, and impact of each organization. Every donation between $25 and $10,000 received through the Give Miami Day website today will have a percentage matched by the Miami Foundation.
“This is a distinctive way to introduce people to the important role of non-profit organizations and help them learn more about how their donation can impact lives in greater Miami,” said Javier Alberto Soto, president and CEO of the Miami Foundation.
There are dozens upon dozens of philanthropies to choose from, making it difficult to decide. However, Mendez believes that Miami locals realize the power of books and the importance of reading. “Like donating a toy during the holidays, the books we will give away will brighten children’s days,” she said, “and we think will have positive impact on their future. We hope it leads to more reading — we think it does.”