Literacy Activities

 

LITERACY

BMI established a Special Projects Committee to identify, study and recommend funding for those projects/organizations which promote literacy, reading, education or other book related programs deserving special financial and membership support from the Institute. BMI member companies submit projects/organizations from communities they operate in for consideration for this fund. Combined over the years, the organizations receiving these grants have served over 3.5 million children and adults.

Following are the activities that several of the BMI member companies are currently involved in to support early childhood literacy efforts:

Appleton Coated LLC

Appleton Coated feels that it is important to give back to the community and to support our employees in their volunteer efforts. A sampling of the organizations and programs that have recently received support from Appleton Coated follows. These donations are consistent with our charter to support literacy and families in need.

  • The National Holiday Book Program

Appleton Coated employees’ generosity through book purchases and financial support resulted in hundreds of books sent to local organizations and over one thousand sent to children’s programs nationwide. Special thanks are due to Scholastic Inc. who each year responds generously to our call for support. Scholastic’s support provides a large selection of books to the 25 national and 5 local organizations that we support. Holidays can be a tough time of year for many people and the books help these organizations lighten the burdens and concerns of those that come to them in their time of need.

  • Fox Valley Literacy Coalition

Our annual financial support of the Fox Valley Literacy Coalition helps fund textbooks, student workbooks, picture dictionaries, and learning software for the computer lab. People from Brazil, India, Thailand, Mexico, Japan and Fiji now call the Fox Cities and surrounding communities their home and need to learn English to survive and become part of our community. Local English-speaking residents with low literacy levels or those who do not have a high school diploma are also served by the coalition.

LSC Communications
Stefanie Cortes - Director, Marketing & Communications

Contact:  Stefanie Cortes - Director, Marketing & Communications

The LSC Publishing Group, through Dover Publications, supports a program with local high schools. Regular interactions are structured where our employees meet with students, to discuss the process of how a book is published and donate books to the school. The purpose of the visits is to promote reading and give students and understanding of the publishing business.

 Additionally, a number of LSC manufacturing plants support local literacy programs within their local communities; Menasha, WI Young Writers Camp, Success by Six in Terra Haute, IN and The Read to Succeed program in Harrisonburg, VA are a few examples.  Our local teams around the country are focused on helping spread literacy and the written word in their communities.

Edwards Brothers Malloy
John J. Edwards, President & CEO

Edwards Brothers Malloy is a long-time supporter of literacy and reading efforts in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the surrounding area. John Edwards is a former board member of and currently serves as an advisor for Washtenaw Literacy, a volunteer-based organization providing free literacy instruction customized to the needs of adults throughout Washtenaw County. Volunteers provide individual and group tutoring in reading and writing skills and in English as a second language so adults can improve their personal, family, and community lives. Edwards Brothers Malloy also provides subsidized print services for the organization.  For more information see www.washtenawliteracy.org.

Laura Conlin, sister of John Edwards and project manager at Edwards Brothers Malloy, has served on the board of the Family Learning Institute and is currently a coach and tutor for children struggling with reading skills. The Family Learning Institute provides low-income students in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti who are performing below grade level with a no-cost supplemental academic program in reading and math to help them become successful learners. For more information, see www.familylearninginstitute.org.

“We’re proud to give back to a community that has done so much for us,” says John Edwards. “The ability to read is fundamental to lifelong success and these organizations are central to making books and reading a reality for every life they touch.”


Glatfelter
Mark W. Pitts, Former Director

  • Glatfelter purchases books that appear on the New York Times Bestseller list that were printed on Glatfelter paper and donates them to the entire York County Library System (13 libraries).
  • Glatfelter provides financial support to the “One Book, One Community” reading program designed to promote the value of reading, foster lifelong learning, and developing strong community identity through recommending a compelling book that links the York County community in a common conversation.
  • Glatfelter established and maintains the Glatfelter Memorial Library in Spring Grove, PA.Glatfelter sponsors various York County Literacy Council events.
Kolbus America Inc.

Robert L. Shafer, President

  • Financial support to Cleveland Reads, the Greater Cleveland literacy coalition, which acts as the primary literacy resource for more than 130 youth and adult education programs in the Greater Cleveland area.
  • Kolbus America employees volunteer at local community centers in tutoring adults and children in reading, and at events supported or hosted by Cleveland reads for the purpose of raising funds.
  • Kolbus America executives serve on the Board of Directors for Cleveland Reads and on the Executive and Development Committees.

Malloy Incorporated (merged with Edwards Brothers)
William L. Upton, Former President

  • Malloy has adopted Reach Out and Read (ROR) as an organization we want to support. ROR is a national program which works with pediatricians to communicate to the parents of young children the importance of reading aloud to children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. This is a vital activity in preparing children to learn to read once they attend kindergarten. As part of the program, pediatricians give their patients copies of books at each well baby checkup in the 6 month to 5 year age range. Some of the actions Malloy has taken to support ROR include:
  • In 2006 and 2007, we featured ROR in an insert to our annual holiday cards. A number of publishers responded to the information we sent by making cash donations, and two of our customers donated books.
  • A group of Malloy employees cover two 4-hour weekly time slots at a local pediatric clinic. They read to children in the waiting room, offer books to parents to read to their children while waiting, and are on call to read to children or siblings in examining rooms while their parents confer with the doctor.
  • One of the volunteers mentioned above, organized a used book drive at Malloy. All employees were asked to donate used children’s books to expand and re-stock the supplies available to the volunteers to use and distribute in the waiting rooms.
  • In 2008, another of Malloy’s ROR volunteers organized a used book drive through her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Through the hard work of the troop and the help of numerous local schools and businesses, the girls collected over 1,400 books to donate to ROR, while another 1,400 books, suitable for older readers, was donated to a local library.
  • We’ve also made cash donations to the ROR chapter in Ann Arbor, but through our contact with them we’ve found that getting volunteers to read in waiting rooms and donations of lightly used books are actually their greatest needs.
  • For more information on Reach Out and Read, visit http://www.reachoutandread.org/

Malloy also supports Washtenaw Literacy with cash donations and participation in their annual benefit auction. In 2001, BMI members Malloy, Edwards Brothers, and McNaughton & Gunn teamed up with Washtenaw Literacy in a program to provide English as a Second Language (ESL) training to employees of the three companies. Volunteers from each company worked one-on-one as tutors with co-workers who were English language learners. Each tutor received a minimum of 26 hours of training provided by Washtenaw Literacy on paid company time. Additionally, ESL sessions were conducted during paid time for both the learner and the tutor. Malloy’s experience with this program was a resounding success. Several of the ESL learners have since been promoted into higher paying jobs within Malloy, and their ESL training was a significant factor in enabling them to earn those promotions. All three BMI member companies, along with Washtenaw Literacy, were honored in 2004, when this program won an Optimus Award from Workforce Management Magazine.

Malloy has been an active supporter of the annual Ann Arbor Book Festival. Several Malloy employees have served on the Book Festival board of directors and numerous committees. In 2006, Malloy printed a volume of compiled stories, written by people of note in the Ann Arbor area. Proceeds from the sale of this book in local stores were used to support the Book Festival. Malloy has also hosted an open house and plant tour as a Book Festival event in past years.

Muller Martini Corp.
Angela Jansen, Executive Assistant

  • As a way of lending support toward the effort to battle illiteracy, Muller Martini Corp. has joined with the BMI to provide monetary donations to Literacy Suffolk – an organization that effects countywide change by working to improve individual literacy skills through the use of trained volunteers and by expanding community awareness. Muller Martini contributed $2,000 and BMI matched that amount. Werner Naegeli, President and CEO of Muller Martini Corp., presented a $4,000 check to Christine Moriarty, Finance Director for Literacy Suffolk.

Canon Solutions America, Inc.
Tonya Powers, Sr. Marketing Manager


The Canon Solutions America Future Authors Project is a unique partnership between the School District of Palm Beach County and Canon Solutions America. Founded in 2006, the program ignites the love of reading and writing in middle and high school students and teaches them about the growing market for books, made possible by digital printing. Supported by major corporations and foundations, including the Lawrence Sanders Foundation and BankAtlantic, the program involves an eight-day summer writing workshop. Each year, students work hand-in-hand with certified teachers and published authors to learn about writing and becoming published authors. Graduates of the previous year’s workshop are invited to return and serve as mentors to the new future authors. An additional group of students in the Glades, a rural area in North Palm Beach County, are able to participate via the district’s distant learning technology. During the workshop, the students write essays, short stories and poems that are complied into a book they name, such as No Such Thing as Writer’s Block: Creative Works from the Next Generation of Authors, or Confessions of a Teenage Writer.

The book is published and printed by a Canon Solutions America production print customer on a combination of Canon and Océ digital presses. The book is unveiled to the student authors, their parents, teachers, school administrators, community leaders and elected officials at a book signing hosted by the City of Boca Raton at the Spanish River Public Library. The mayor of Boca Raton congratulates the students, who then sit at long tables to sign copies of the book. Local media cover the event and about 100 people attend.

Among the nearly 350 students touched by the program to date, many have been inspired to read and write more, and even pursue careers as published authors. The long-term goal of the Canon Solutions America Future Authors Project has been to expand the program to other school districts throughout the United States. A secondary program was launched in 2017 in New York. 

"Learn more about the Canon Solutions America Future Authors Project."

Webcrafters, Inc.
Jac B. Garner, President

  • Webcrafters has adopted the Madison Metropolitan School District’s Mendota Elementary School. This includes a sizable annual financial gift to support the purchase of educational materials.
  • A number of Webcrafters employees volunteer at Mendota Elementary, mentoring students in math and reading and assisting staff.
  • Several Webcrafters employees volunteer at the Madison Literacy Council, a social service agency which targets adult literacy needs.
  • Working with the Madison Area Technical College and using a variety of state workforce development grants, Webcrafters offers on-site classes for employees to earn their GEDs.
  • Webcrafters also offers on-site classes in basic and intermediate English as a Second Language.
  • Webcrafters supports the Pearson Foundation’s Jumpstart initiative to build literacy, language, social, and initiative skills in young children. Jumpstart pairs motivated college students with preschool children in caring and supportive one-to-one relationships for an entire school year.
  • Webcrafters supports Literacy Leadership’s Newspapers in Education initiative which serves teachers and students throughout south central Wisconsin by providing a “living textbook” – the daily newspaper. This promotes a lifelong daily reading habit that creates informed, literate and productive citizens.
  • We are long time members of the Gold Medallion Club of Bookbuilders of Boston’s Endowment Fund. Their scholarship program supports, encourages and promotes publishing-related education by providing scholarships to colleges and universities that offer courses in the field of publishing. These institutions also offer opportunities for continuing education to Bookbuilders of Boston members.
  • Webcrafters has supported the Wisconsin Book Festival, a program of the Wisconsin Humanities Council that encourages Wisconsinites of all ages to “read widely and to read well.”
  • We donate to the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation for undergraduate college scholarships and graduate fellowship assistance for talented men and women interested in graphic communications careers.
  • Webcrafters sponsors the National Catholic Educational Association Foundation’s Elizabeth Ann Seton Awards to honor people whose personal or professional philanthropy or volunteer service impacts Catholic education in particular or U.S. education and our country’s youth in general. Recipients of the Seton Award have a scholarship presented in their honor to a deserving Catholic school student from their community.

Worzalla Publishing Company
Charles W. Nason, Chairman of the Board

  • Worzalla Publishing was instrumental in organizing, and remains involved with, a local community initiative called “Reading First!”. The singular purpose of this organization is to encourage persons at all age levels to read at least 20 minutes each and every day. This includes reading to or with someone. Worzalla president Chuck Nason is personally involved with the “Reading First!” committee as is his assistant Cheri Karch. Worzalla provides, on a “pro bono” basis, book marks and posters for all of the “Reading First!” activities. The activities include a winter and summer
  • “community read” where the entire community selects books for reading. Posters are developed to promote the event and bookmarks are developed for each book. Worzalla also acts as the clearinghouse for purchasing 500 copies of each book so that books can be distributed for free in the community. Arrangements are also made with local bookstores to provide a 20% discount on all community read books.
  • “Reading First!” sponsors a community-wide “Trivia Contest” each February. The National Honor Society students at our local high school develop the questions for the contest. Those students also help with the actual event. The questions come from the books that have been selected as “community-read” books in the past. Last year, over 150 persons were involved in playing “trivia”. Incidentally, “trivia” is a big thing in Stevens Point since the world’s largest trivia contest is held here in April of each year with over 15,000 people participating.
  • “Reading First!” also is an annual participant in “June Dairy Days” which carries the reading message to a countywide audience. The June Dairy Day promotion involves giving away a free book to each child that attends the dairy day activity. There is also an opportunity for grandparents to select a book for a grandchild. Balloons are also distributed at this event.
  • “Reading First!” is involved with bringing authors and illustrators to the community to work with students, teachers and parents. This is normally a two-day event and is co-sponsored with our local schools. “Reading First!” also participates in parades, has done pancake suppers, and has become very well known in the community. The Reading First!
  • Committee is co-chaired by Cheri Karch and includes school board members, reading specialists, librarians, business people, teachers, parents, Children’s Museum reps., etc. It is a very diversified group that maintains a focus on reading. Seven community businesses and an anonymous individual sponsor “Reading First!”. Initial grants for $2,500 were received for the effort and the next fund raising did not occur until three years later. Then, the grant amounts were reduced to $2,000 and now the grant amounts are continuing to drop.
  • Worzalla was also instrumental in developing a major reading display for the local public library. This was done in conjunction with AAP. AAP provided free of charge its entire library of “Get Caught Reading” posters. Ten images were selected and downloaded to the Electronic Pre-Press Department at Worzalla. The images were then enlarged to poster-size and mounted on sheets of thin Styrofoam. These large posters then were displayed in the windows of the public library.
  • With respect to literacy, Worzalla is the presenting sponsor ($3,000) of the single largest fund-raising event the Portage County Literacy Council has, which is their “Unscrabble” contest. “Unscrabble” is played with regular Scrabble games but involves play by four team members simultaneously. A Worzalla team, including President Chuck Nason, played in and won the first “Unscrabble” event. The event is played under tight time limits and also allows the “purchase” of additional letters drawn at random. It has become a huge success and last year had over
  • 250 players. The event is held in a ballroom at the local Holiday Inn and has raised over $35,000 since its inception.
  • Cheri Karch is a Board member of the Literacy Council, which is especially active due to a large and increasing Hmong population in Central Wisconsin. Individual and classroom tutoring are provided for primarily adults with Polish, Spanish and Hmong backgrounds. The major focus of emphasis in the community this year is learning and working
  • with medical terminology. Not only is this being stressed in the literacy classes, but a major push is being made with the medical community as well to make them aware that, while they may think their patients know and understand what they say, medical terminology can be very confusing. It is a wonderful effort that is beginning to take hold.
  • A past student of the Portage County Literacy Council has written a children’s book in English, White Hmong and Green Hmong languages. Worzalla is assisting with design and manufacture of these books, the proceeds of which the author is donating to the Literacy Council. This storybook, which recalls a Hmong New Year celebration in Laos and today in America, will be a great tool for tutors working with the Hmong population in our area.
  • Worzalla partners with The Arts Alliance of Portage County, The Stevens Point Journal Newspapers In Education program, and the Portage County Literacy Council to publish a collection of poetry and art from area students. Worzalla manufactures the books gratis. Proceeds from the sale of the books are split among the Arts Alliance, Newspapers In Education, and the Literacy Council.