Local Book Drive: Help Me Raise 600 Books for The Children of Philadelphia

Reading has always been a part of my life in some shape or form; whether it be for the use of education, research or leisure, it’s had a way of shaping my life. However, there is a lost generation of readers in today’s society.

I believe reading is fundamental for everyone, but primarily for children, adolescents and young adults. The society we live in is constantly progressing in the technology industry, and between social media and television, reading has taken a place on the back burner, but I’m one of many hoping to change that.

This spring, I am partnering with Tree House Books, a local non-profit organization whose “vision is to see that every child in Philadelphia has access to books and every opportunity to pursue their dreams. We are on a mission to grow and sustain a community of readers, writers, and thinkers.” 

Founded in 2005, Tree House Books classifies themselves as a Giving Library and Literacy Center in North Philadelphia with a dual purpose to provide free books to the community, and Out of School Time (OST) programs that increases literacy skills, and promote a lifelong love of reading and writing in children from their earliest moments, through high school, and beyond.

More specifically, I will be working within their Books in Every Home campaign which is on a mission to give deserving families in Philadelphia access to books who may not have otherwise. A statement on their website that I can fully support is that they understand that most of a child’s learning goes beyond a traditional school setting and the need to encourage and inspire reading in homes is crucial. However, these children are attending schools that do not have lending libraries or may be low-income households that cannot afford to purchase books to bring into the home. And that’s why I want to help achieve their goal of distributing 75,000 books in 2018 throughout the city, surpassing their total of 67,000 in 2017.

Reading was always so easily accessible to me either at home or school growing up. I love getting lost in the words of an author, living vicariously through characters, learning something new, expanding my imagination far past the words on the pages.

More than that, reading can have other long-term effects such as improving focus and concentration, enhancing memory, expanding imagination, healthier alternative for entertainment, language development, increase of knowledge, and long-term academic success.

 The 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) reading test results demonstrate that far too many young people continue to read below grade level. Sixty five percent of all U.S. fourth graders scored “below proficient,” which means that they are not reading at grade level. Only 35 percent of fourth graders are reading at or above grade level. In addition, 64 percent of eighth graders are reading below grade level, whereas 36 percent are reading at or above grade level. Still, these statistics do show an improvement at both grade levels. In 1992, 72 percent of fourth graders and 71 percent of eighth graders were reading below grade level.  – U.S. Department of Education, “The Nation’s Report Card,” 2013.

For more staggering facts about he literacy rates in our nation, visit this site:

http://thencbla.org/literacy-resources/statistics/

This book drive is small step for me, however, it is one that can have a large impact on families throughout Philadelphia, but I need your help.

My goal is to collect 600 books to donate to Tree House Books within the next 6 weeks.

Tree House is specifically looking for all children’s books, classic literature used in schools, and African-American literature, but are accepting all books, with exception of encyclopedias, as they can find a home for every book, or they can keep them in their giving library in North Philadelphia.

Alternatively, if you do not have any books you wish donate, but still want to support the organization, you can make a donation on their website!

Contact me via this post, by email at keoughmeg1@gmail.com, or by phone if you have my number if you wish to donate some books or have any questions! You can also drop off locally at either Bishop McDevitt High School in Wyncote, PA or The Borough Brewhouse in Jenkintown, PA. I truly appreciate any and all donations in my effort to help bring literacy back!

*And don’t forget to celebrate World Book Day on April 23rd!*

 

 

 

 

Side Hustles: Why You Should Have One

I first heard the term ‘side hustle’ while reading Ann Shoket’s millennial guiding book, The Big Life  , and it’s a term that has stuck with me since then. Typically, a side hustle is a way of earning extra cash outside of your primary income, which I think is great and incredibly smart and responsible especially for those of us in our early stages of adulthood without the responsibility of kids or running a household. However, Shoket has her own terms and conditions surrounding this term that seems to be on the rise.

Get a Side-Hustle. The idea that one job can be your everything feels so dated, doesn’t it? Sometimes you need a day job that pays the bills or gives you security, even if it doesn’t feed your soul. That’s when you need a side-hustle—a project you work on to put yourself in charge or build new skills in your career. This is how you pay yourself in self-respect.”

I think the idea of this is incredibly inspiring, especially in today’s society, and urge all of you to give this some serious consideration.

I, myself, do have an actual side hustle in it’s truest form, a second job at a local restaurant and brewery, that provides me extra cash outside of my bi-weekly paycheck from my 9-5. Which is awesome considering the loans that need to be paid off, the monthly bills, attempting to lease a car, and all other expenses life has to drown us in.

Even though that side hustle was intended for its primary purpose, it’s turned into much more than that because I genuinely like what I do when I go there and I’ve also made so many new friendships.

So, if you’re contemplating finding your side hustle but hesitant because you might just feel like it will make you more miserable than your existing job while also taking time away from leisure activities, find something that works for you; try different roles out, or, best case scenario, find a way to make money off of something you already love doing.

This recommendation brings me to my next point of my other side hustle, the one not entirely intended for extra cash.

I started this blog about 18 months ago and I’ve watched it progressively grow which has been super rewarding in regards to many aspects. In contrast to my side hustle that compensates my bank account, maintaining this website compensates areas of my life that lack substance. It helps me improve my writing skills, enhances my time management and organization, provides insights into social media and sharing, and pays me in self-respect. This website is minimally profitable, but with more views I get, the more money I potentially earn. 

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I’ve read that other people’s side hustles often include playing music in clubs, dog walking, organizing book clubs, life coaching, and blogging, among other things.

Sometimes our jobs, especially early on in our career can leave us feeling undervalued, bored and passionless. Finding a side hustle can help with all of that.

We all have hobbies, so why not find a way to turn the things you’re passionate about into profit or productivity? And even if that’s not possible, it’s nice to work at things that make you feel good, inspire you and reward you in different ways.

If you do have an existing side hustle, comment below, I’m interested to hear different answers! Cheers!