Claudia Osmond ~ Reader, Writer, and Ruminator

Posts Tagged ‘Air Lift to L.A.’

Air Lift to L.A!

In Libraries, Outreach, torkidlit on July 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm

As I’m sitting here, getting excited about tonight’s torkidlit tweetup, L.A. has come to mind. Um … what do the torkidlit group and L.A. have in common, you ask?

Helaine Becker!

Helaine is a torkidlit author who has a heart of pure gold. And she’s got a winning idea!

Instead of me trying to explain her brilliant plan to you, I’ve posted her statement regarding Air Lift to L.A!, taken directly from her Air Lift to L.A! facebook page.

“School libraries across North America are in dire straits. In the worst shape of all are schools in the United States in poor districts. Not only have teacher-librarians virtually disappeared from them, but so have the books. Shelves are literally empty; books that are on the shelves are woefully out of date and simply a disgrace. For some children, the school library is the only place they will ever see, touch or read a book. How can we expect to cultivate a love of learning in kids who realize from the get-go that separate is not equal, and despite Brown vs. the Bd. of Education, separation (of rich and poor, lucky and unlucky) is the norm across our continent? How can we teach them that they can really be part of the North American dream, and not just the walking talking nightmare of a society gone wrong?
 
“The future of Canadian and American children depends on literacy. Public schools are the places where children are supposed to have access to a quality education. If our least advantaged children are not given opportunity to read and learn, you can kiss democracy goodbye, and prepare to welcome in a new age of medieval gated communities where the Haves must bar themselves against the depradations of the barbarian Have Nots.

 “For those who would like to download an assessment tool which will allow you to evaluate the quality of your school library – you will be shocked! – go to my blog at www.helainebecker.blogspot.com  You’ll find the downloadable 4 page doc there.
 
Our partner in California on this project is Access Books. Check out their website at http://www.accessbooks.net/  and their FACEBOOK page at accessbooks ca.”
 
If you’d like to get involved in this outreach, you can either leave a comment on the Air Lift to L.A! facebook page or you can leave a comment here and I’ll be sure to pass the info along to Helaine.
Please know that you do NOT have to be an author or publisher to contribute. You could send a copy of a book written by your favorite Canadian author. Or, parents, you could ask your kids which Canadian books they’ve particularly loved and send some of those. A relatively small contribution on our part will most definitely make a huge impact on the lives of the kids on the receiving end.
Thanks in advance for considering being a part of Air Lift to L.A! 

“In an attempt to draw attention to the shocking and demoralizing state school libraries have fallen to, and with the intention to rectify it in whatever small way we can, Canadian authors are banding together to airlift books into some of the most poorly served school libraries in the United States, in inner city Los Angeles. The conditions there are on par with the worst of the Third World countries. Actually, they are worse, because in much of the Third World, people are doing their best to raise their standards, while in Los Angeles, conditions have deteriorated abysmally in the last ten years.

“We are currently collecting books by Canadian authors and publishers to send to the benighted children of America. Not that conditions in Canada are perfect – we also suffer from the same neglect in our own school libraries. However, our funding models, which distribute school money across provinces, and which are not limited locally, tend to even out the worst extremes. We also need a new focus on our libraries here in Canada, but with the spirit of, “there are even worse off people than we are,” we are contributing a small amount of our literary wealth to help Third World America get back on her feet. We hope that this dramatic gesture will bring attention to the need for stronger support of school library programs on both sides of the border and spur the powers that be to constructive action.