Friday, January 19, 2018

Book Review - My Heartfelt Passion: Saving Our Nation One Child at a Time

My Heartfelt Passion: Saving Our Nation One Child at a Time
Author Jim Davidson believes illiteracy impacts every person in a community, so he developed a way to pass on a love of reading. His philosophy in a nutshell: Give a child a bookcase and some books and that child will become a reader. His program, “A Bookcase for Every Child,” strives to reach preschool children who are at greatest risk, those whose parents may not be able to afford books, children of low-income families.

Davidson founded “The Conway Bookcase Project” in 2005, and his project has expanded. In 2017, supporters built 50 personalized bookcases to give to children who most needed help. And similar programs have developed in six states. 

According to Davidson, 61 percent of low-income families have no books in their homes, and illiteracy costs the United States billions of dollars a year in lost productivity, violence and crime. Inspired by his mother, who in spite of growing up in poverty became a voracious reader and reared a family of readers, Davidson set about improving literacy in society—one child at a time.

In his book Davidson offers concrete steps to develop such a program: Hold a bookcase fundraising banquet, find master builders to build the bookcases (from plans he offers), gather new and gently used books and hold an annual awards ceremony to present bookcases with nameplates to the children. He suggests how to maintain such a project. For instance, you need a treasurer to account for funding and disbursements.

The book includes illustrations of banquet tickets, announcements and letters to use in the project. He also includes photos of those working with him on this project.

Davidson is a public speaker, author and motivational consultant. The book includes details I might have skipped, such as naming people instrumental in building his program to honor their commitment. But his overall message—to make your community a better place by blessing its children with bookcases and books—is a unique and important message. He sounds a clear call to action for readers to commit to such a project in their own communities.

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