5 Ways to Impact Literacy This Holiday Season

flf-teddy-bear-storyThe season for giving is here, and as you look for causes to invest your time and energy towards what better option is there than literacy? Literacy is the ability to read and write, and if you are currently reading this, then you are most likely a literate person in the United States. However, 44 million of your fellow Americans are considered illiterate, and globally 15.9% of people do not meet a sixth grade standard of reading or writing. Illiteracy has cost the U.S. Department of Labor $225 billion a year in lost productivity, while the global cost of illiteracy has been estimated by the World Literacy Foundation at $1.2 trillion. And you have the ability to help!

Here are five ways to impact literacy this holiday season:

Advocate for greater library funding in your community

There are multiple ways to get your voice heard on the importance of funding literacy! Write to your supervisor on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, or attend a county budget hearing to express your passion for the library and encourage increased funding. With greater funds, libraries can provide a greater number of services for the community. According to the American Library Association libraries have an overwhelming impact on the community, leading to business development and job creation, community development through connection, and – of course – literacy.

Here are some helpful links to get you started:


Visit your local branch to determine what events are ongoing. There is always the opportunity to volunteer time to shelve books and help with library operations, but there are also tons of fun events such as book talks and socials that require additional manpower. An alternative way to volunteer is by lending your voice and guest writing for our blog!

Get involved

Volunteering at your local branch is only one of many ways to have a personal impact on literacy. There are opportunities with many nonprofit organizations to help increase literacy on a local, national, and global basis. The Fairfax Library Foundation serves as your local nonprofit aiding libraries and providing resources like early literacy programs and scholarships to the community. The Foundation has a page about getting involved.

National nonprofits also seek literacy lovers who are looking to make an impact. Organizations like First Book provide students in low income areas across the United States with access to books and educational materials. First Book provides opportunities to donate, fundraise, deliver books to kids in need near you, and to stay connected. First Book involvement opportunities are listed here.

There are ways to help out with international organizations, too. For example, African Library Project is a United States-based nonprofit that contributes books to African schools and villages in order to create libraries. The African Library Project provides the unique opportunity for individuals in the U.S. to host book drives that will directly supply resources for these libraries. Find out more here.

Donate and have local impact

Donating funds to the Fairfax Library Foundation contributes to the growth of the Fairfax library system and enables us to grow our programs. Through gift, check, or money order, consider giving back to your local library this holiday season and ensuring your community has the best resources possible. You can donate here online here. If you would prefer not to directly donate cash, you can contribute to the Foundation by utilizing Amazon Smile on your next Amazon purchase.

Give the gift of books

When holiday shopping, buy books for your friends and family and spread the joy of reading. Everybody needs a good book in their life! You can even purchase books for the library for hundreds to enjoy by shopping our Amazon Wish List! #GiveBooks


Blog post by Karenna.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *