“Placing a book in a child’s hands is like planting a seed.” ~ Seedlings Motto
Opening a book is like entering a portal to another world. Even the dreariest of days can be made wonderful, thanks to good fiction. Books were my only friends for years. It never bothered me that the other kids didn’t want to play with me, because I knew my good friends Bunnicula, the Sweet Valley Twins, and the Babysitters’ Club were at home waiting. Reading offered me a solace and joy little else could.
Every child deserves the company of a good book, but for some, that company is hard to find. The truth of the matter is, braille books are expensive and difficult to attain, especially for families with limited means. There is an inherent bliss associated with the act of reading—a bliss that is simply not matched by listening to a story via audiobook. That’s why it’s so important to promote braille literacy and to give blind children access to the same books their sighted peers enjoy.
Luckily, I know a great charity that works hard to right this. Seedlings Braille Books for Children is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high quality, low-cost braille books for blind children in Michigan and around the world.
Like me, Seedlings was born in 1984. At that time, braille materials were scarce and expensive. In the years since its inception, Seedlings has added over twelve hundred books to their catalogue—from well-loved classics such as Charlotte’s Web to more contemporary reads like Farsighted. They generously offer these books to readers for far less than it costs to produce them.
I already work personally with Seedlings by donating a proceed of sales from my Farsighted series to this great and deserving charity. Now they have an opportunity to receive an even loftier donation from the Art Van Charity Challenge. If every $10 puts a braille book in a child’s hands, imagine how much $25,000 will help!
Please read on to learn more about how you can support braille literacy with a simple vote!
to Win a $25,000 Grant from
Art Van’s Million Dollar Charity Challenge
Seedlings Braille Books for Children is eligible to win a $25,000 grant from Art Van’s Million Dollar Charity Challenge. And they need your help to do it! Just go to the following link, www.artvancharitychallenge.com, and vote for Seedlings. It is easy to do! You only have to vote once per email address by May 31st, instead of having to vote everyday! Please share with your family, friends, co-workers and social media. Seedlings would use the grant to make hundreds of braille books for blind children.
When Seedlings was started in 1984 by Director, Debra Bonde, braille materials were scarce and expensive. Her goals were to increase the availability and lower the cost of braille books for children in order to promote their literacy skills and the love of reading. In 1985, the first year of book production, Debra made 221 books in her basement office. Today Seedlings produces approximately 22,000 braille books a year.
Only a very small percentage of children’s book titles are ever produced in braille. Last year, Seedlings added 90 new titles creating their largest selection ever, with 1,200 titles now available in their 2012 catalog. They sell their books for about half of what it costs to produce them and make up the difference with individual and corporate donations, foundation grants and proceeds from fundraising events.
Seedlings Braille Books for Children is a Livonia based non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to increasing the opportunity for literacy by providing high quality children’s literature in braille. Each year, over 22,000 braille books are made and shipped to blind children across the country and around the world from their Livonia office. For more information on Seedlings Braille Books for Children, visit www.seedlings.org or contact them at (734) 427-8552.
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