I first heard about Book People Unite when Zabet from Reading Between Classes featured the video on her blog. When it came up again as the beneficiary for the Seventh Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge, I knew I had to learn more about it.
Book People Unite is basically a public awareness campaign that is bringing different organizations together in order to help get books into the hands of kids who need them. A bunch of different famous musicians and book lovers helped create a song to encourage other Book People to join the cause. They also made the great video above. Contributors included The Roots, Jack Black, Chris Martin, John Legend, Jim James, Jason Schwartzman, Nate Ruess, Melanie Fiona, Carrie Brownstein, Regina Spektor, Consequence and, of course, LeVar Burton.
The primary beneficiary of all this fundraising is Reading is Fundamental, the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States. According to their mission, RIF's highest priority is reaching under-served children from birth to age 8. They do this by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. You can learn about ways to give through RIF here. You can also download a free digital copy of the Book People Unite song by taking the Pledge.
Consider this. The child without books is on their way to becoming …
- 1 of the 33 percent of 4th graders in the U.S. who cannot read at the most basic level
- 1 of the 7,000 U.S. students who drop out of high school every school day
- 1 of the 40 million adults in the U.S. who cannot read
There are 16 million children living in poverty in this country. And for every 300 children in need, there is only 1 book.
It doesn't take much to help; like the song says, "one book can make a difference." Just how big a dork does it make me that I get teary just listening to that song? (We won't talk about what happens when Reading Rainbow is mentioned.)