July News for You: Lighting LitWorld Campfires of Hope

Here's what we know for sure: social transformation is within the reach of all communities when people are valued as the most treasured resource. Every child and community member is overflowing with stories and literacy grows best by writing and telling these stories. This is a simple, life-changing idea.

Here's how the people in the LitWorld movement (that means you!) are changing the world together.

LitCamps & Summer Learning Rock the Nation

 Ready for a summer of LitCamp joy in Detroit.

Ready for a summer of LitCamp joy in Detroit.

This week 14 LitCamps begin in New York and Detroit - our biggest crop ever! Over a thousand children will spend the summer taking story adventures, cultivating a deep love of reading and finding their greatest inspiration as writers. This all happens in a community of fellow LitCampers and trusted leaders who serve as reading role models and mentors. Our Harlem LitCamp at Broadway Housing Communities' Dorothy Day building will be co-run by LitWorld staff, intern counselors and LitClub junior counselors. We have partnered for a second year with The After School Corporation to spread LitCamps across New York and with Detroit Public Schools to launch our inaugural Detroit LitCamps.

LitWorld's Founder Pam Allyn has been spreading our innovative approach to summer learning with families and leaders across America. In her latest piece for the Huffington Post she shares her top five ways to cultivate fearless summer readers and writers.

Reading Aloud is Doctor Recommended

 A sneak peek inside a Moms LitClub meeting in Rwanda.

A sneak peek inside a Moms LitClub meeting in Rwanda.

Last week the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that doctors will now prescribe read alouds from birth to new parents as a critical factor for future literacy and academic success. NBC Denver asked Pam Allyn to share her expert insight about the profound impact reading aloud has on a child's potential. Watch the full interview here.

LitWorld has been leading read aloud advocacy for years. Through World Read Aloud Day (which was celebrated in over 80 countries this March) and our Family and Moms LitClubs, we have pioneered programs that engage parents and children in reading and storytelling. Our Moms LitClubs are thriving in Kenya, Rwanda, Haiti, the Philippines and now in Jordan where we are training young mothers to read aloud with the children of the Za'atari Syrian Refugee Camp with our local partner We Love Reading. In a place where over half of the population is under 17, reading aloud provides access to hope, joy and a world of possibility.

WhatsApp, You Say?

 A LitClub writer and storyteller in India shared by Regional Coordinator Gargi via WhatsApp.

A LitClub writer and storyteller in India shared by Regional Coordinator Gargi via WhatsApp.

So far this year we have already launched LitWorld programs with new partners in India, Zambia, Uganda, Colombia and Jordan. As we work on building our LitPower Platform to network LitWorld's leaders with one another and support them with interactive online curriculum and professional development, we are also experimenting with the wonderful apps and online tools available worldwide. Connecting our on-the-ground leaders through mobile apps such as WhatsApp has quickly become an avenue for question-asking and knowledge-sharing.

Gargi from Ahmedabad, India recently shared this photo of a Boys LitClub member who told her that writing down his story makes him happy. Phoebe from Kisumu, Kenya sent pictures of the girls in her LitClubs hugging and singing, sharing that they were feeling a strong sense of belonging that day. Peachy from Manila, Philippines shared a photo of a founding LitClub member who has grown to become a junior LitClub mentor. This sparked a reply from Prisca and Maureen in Kibera, Kenya, where their own founding LitClub members have also become junior LitClub mentors. This tool is helping our on-the-ground leaders unite around their LitWorld work and have meaningful conversations about what literacy can mean for the children in their communities.