I've recently had the pleasure of making an online friend who has started an excellent literary program to help teens who are in need of books for their school libraries. If every YA author who reads this could send just one copy of their novel to Lora, it would make a huge difference to the lives of those kids.
Bloggers, I give you permission to reprint this blog post in the hopes of helping Lora and the Read for your Future program.
Take it away, Lora...
My name is Lora Wiedenheft and I’m a book reviewer and the founder of a program called Read for Your Future.
The program works like this. I contact authors and publishers who I think will donate a book in exchange for a review. Once I receive the book, it’s put on a list from which students at two different high schools are able to choose from. The students then read and review the book. There are links on my website which lead them through the process. When the review is complete, the book goes into to the library at their respective schools where it is catalogued and is given a new home for years to come.
The students are excited about this program. They are building up their library. And it helps them to feel good about themselves for helping out their school.
About our city
Middletown, Ohio is a low income community and not unlike other communities right now, we have little or no work. Families are struggling. The last thing on their minds is buying books for their children The teenagers here love to read but up until recently, the school hadn't had a new book in almost four years. Our program changed that. The students are now reading again.
The schools gets very little money and what little they do get is used for updating computer software. We used to have a steel mill here, AK Steel, but they moved to Georgia and took their money with them. This year Middletown City School will only have one librarian for all the schools and they are closing two more schools this year.
I dropped out of high school in the tenth grade due to pregnancy. I’m now 44. I hadn't read a book since high school until I saw a movie at Walmart called Twilight. I decided to buy it and LOVED it. As a result, I had to read the books in the Twilight series and have been reading every since. I only read YA, but I read a lot. I now have a GED and a LPN License.
After acquiring a large collection of books, I decided to donate some to the public library. I found out that they were operating in conjunction with two other libraries and in order for the children in town to enjoy them, they had to be put on a waiting list for the book they wanted. This really bothered me.
My daughter, who’d just graduated high school suggested I give them to the Middletown High School library. I called and discovered the school hadn’t had a new book in four years. They jumped all over them. But I still had books that needed reviews so I set it up a system whereby when a student read a book they would write a review and then give the book to the school library. This was a great success, so successful in fact, that the principal of Franklin High School called and asked if they could get in on it. So I designed a website where I keep a list of books and a place to submit reviews. Once reviewed, the students turn the books over to the library and tell the librarian that it’s a Read for Your Future Book.
Call to authors
I’m asking for authors to donate a copy of your book(s) to our school library in exchange for an honest review and a permanent home. Also, any swag that you are able to spare could be used for grade incentives. We would be forever in your debt.
If it’s no trouble, would you please place us on your ARC list for future books?
Read for Your Future is dedicated to putting books in the hands of teenagers. Won’t you please help in our fight against illiteracy.
Thank you for your time
1512 East Street
Middletown Ohio 45044
1512 East Street
Middletown Ohio 45044
Thank you, Lora. I wish you the best of luck with your program :)