Words Alive is excited to announce an upcoming partnership with the Harry Potter Alliance! Founded in 2005, the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) is a nonprofit organization that uses the power of story to engage millions of fans in the fight for equality, human rights, and literacy. Simply put, the HPA turns fans into heroes.
Over the past twelve years the HPA has raised enough money to send five cargo planes of life-saving supplies to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, compelled Warner Bros. to change the sourcing of their Harry Potter brand chocolate products to be 100% UTZ or Fairtrade, and have used broad cultural messaging to link The Hunger Games book series with real-life income inequality, among so much more.
In addition to these campaigns, the HPA has been deeply involved in literacy advocacy. After all, the organization is named after a popular book series! The HPA and their supporters know first-hand how important reading is to individuals and communities, and so they work hard every year to bring books to communities in need.
Since 2009, members of the HPA have donated over 315,000 books to communities in need around the world through the annual international book drive Accio Books! During this campaign, HPA supporters and chapter members host book drives in their local communities and do one of two things: 1) donate those books to libraries, schools, or organizations in need in their own communities or 2) donate their books to the HPA’s official recipient site for the year.
In addition to being a book drive, Accio Books engages supporters in literacy advocacy in several different ways. Through a partnership with the American Library Association, Accio Books spreads the power of story to legislators and decision makers around the world to advocate for the importance of libraries in our community. Last year on National Library Legislative Day, HPA members collectively took 868 actions in support of public libraries, by calling and sending emails and letters to their legislators.
In the past, recipient sites for Accio Books have included the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda; the Brightmoor Community Center in Detroit, Michigan; Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City, Missouri; and most recently the Good Shepherd School in Masaka, Uganda.
We are very proud to announce that Words Alive is the official recipient site for this year’s Accio Books campaign! The books that are sent to Words Alive throughout the campaign will help combat the lack of book ownership in the underserved communities of San Diego. Many of the children in the Words Alive programs do not have any books of their own. The donations received from Accio Books will give them an opportunity to start their personal home libraries and may be among the first books they ever possess.
Words Alive is also planning on hosting the Apparating Library (the event where the donated books will be distributed back out into the community) at a local school in early June as a way of bringing awareness to and preventing the “Summer Slide.” This is the idea that students tend to lose achievement gains that they made throughout the school year over the summer, and this trend is compounded for low-income families for reasons exactly like lack of book ownership. Studies have shown that having access to books over the summer prevents the “Summer Slide” when it comes to reading skills. With the support of the HPA and Accio Books, children in San Diego from underserved communities will be better equipped to avoid the “Summer Slide” this year.
Accio Books is an annual reminder of why reading is so important, and is a way for advocates of literacy to share their love of stories throughout their community. Whether that is done by donating books, or contacting local legislators about the importance of libraries, Accio Books inspires readers to make real change in their communities through the power of stories. We can’t wait to see all of the advocacy, positivity, and books that this partnership brings!
If you would like to learn more about Accio Books and the Harry Potter Alliance, please visit www.thehpalliance.org/accio_books!