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Champion of Literacy

By: Brenda Kent

As you enter the lobby of The George Hotel in College Station, Texas, you are welcomed by a wall of 9000 books arranged in the form of the Texas flag, which was created by artist Thedra Cullar-Ledford.

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I had the privilege of seeing this artwork while I was visiting Texas this past summer. It is dedicated to Barbara Bush, First Lady and Champion of Literacy.

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This installation had special meaning for me because I lived right down the street from the George Bush Library in College Station, Texas, when my girls were young. Many times we had the opportunity to go to the George Bush Library and listen to Barbara Bush read a story to an auditorium full of children. My girls grew up in a home where reading and writing were valued and encouraged—a home where they were read to from infancy. I was their champion of literacy.

I am well aware that many children in the world do not have the opportunities that my children had. So those words--champion of literacy—grabbed my attention. Champion means a person who fights or argues for a cause or on behalf of someone else. Shouldn’t we all fight for the cause of those less fortunate—those lost in the cracks of this world? And we should all fight for the cause of literacy for everyone. I argue that reading and writing are basic necessities to navigate this world.

For refugees, the fight must be taken all the more seriously.

Alexander Court with the World Economic Forum states,

“Only 61% of refugee children have access to primary education, compared to an international average of 91%. At secondary level, 23% of refugee teenagers go to school, compared to 84% globally.”

(Alexander Court, The 5 biggest refugee myths: debunked,

Tying Vines Humanitarian is a champion of literacy for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. We have one very successful education and community center functioning in the Bekaa Valley.

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Now we are creating another education center on a site where we already have medical and dental facilities, a nutrition center, and two vocational programs. In fact, the refugees in that area are begging for a school. We plan to convert two containers into classrooms, which will require $11,500. Additionally, the monthly cost to run the center is $1500. This amount is not that much when you consider the fruit an education center will produce for years to come.

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Barbara Bush said,

“My wish is for every parent and child to experience the joy of reading and a lifetime of learning.”

That is my wish too! Will you join me in committing to be a Champion of Literacy for these refugee children in the Bekaa Valley?

Donate today and write Champion of Literacy in the comments.