WhatTheyThink

Quad Donates $25,000 to MagLiteracy.org to Kickstart Creation of National Literacy Marketplace

Press release from the issuing company

Donation Supports Efforts to Combat Poverty Amid Rising Challenges From the COVID-19 Pandemic and Persistent Social Issues

Sussex, Wis., and Columbus, Ohio – In celebration of International Literacy Day and the 16th anniversary of the founding of MagLiteracy.org this week, Quad announced today that it has donated $25,000 to MagLiteracy.org to kickstart the creation of a first-of-its-kind national literacy marketplace. The marketplace, a nationwide network of regional literacy banks, will facilitate donations of new, recycled or expired magazines and comic books to local literacy programs – an important tool in combatting poverty.

Quad’s cornerstone contribution to MagLiteracy.org will be used to:

  • Establish a Magazine Literacy Lab in Madison, Wisconsin, which will serve as a training, education and resource center for individuals and groups looking to establish or grow literacy programs in their own communities, replicating MagLiteracy.org’s proven best practices, including how to engage volunteers.
  • Support operations at MagLiteracy.org’s newly established Ohio Literacy Bank, a warehouse in Columbus for processing large-volume magazine donations (from publishers, newsstand returns, etc.). These donations, which are sorted and boxed by volunteers, are delivered to literacy programs in Columbus and other nearby cities, including parts of Appalachia. The warehouse is the first in a planned nationwide network of regional literacy banks that will supply local literacy programs inside women’s shelters, youth mentoring programs, job training centers, meal programs and food pantries.

“We know that literacy is at the heart of freedom, prosperity, civility and equality of opportunity, and essential for eradicating poverty,” said John Mennell, Founder of MagLiteracy.org. “More than 12 million U.S. children live in poverty, and two-thirds of those children have no books at home. It’s a discouraging situation, but one we can effectively address, and thanks to the generous donation from Quad, we are able to kickstart the creation of a national literacy marketplace modeled after the food bank industry. We will find and feed children and adults hungry to read.”

According to Mennell, illiteracy and low literacy are at the center of every important social issue – from health and well-being to racial and gender equality, and sustainable employment. For example:

  • 43 percent of adults with the low literacy levels live in poverty, and 70 percent of adult public assistance recipients have low literacy levels.(1)
  • Nearly half of American adults have difficulty understanding and using health information, hindering their ability to make appropriate health decisions and increasing the likelihood they will incur higher healthcare costs. More than $230 billion per year in healthcare costs are linked to low adult literacy.(2)
  • Individuals with low literacy have a higher rate of unemployment and earn lower wages than the national average.(3)
  • Most poor children live in homes with zero books.(4)

“Quad and the Quadracci family are long-time champions of literacy, and have supported our mission in a variety of ways over a number of years, including providing transportation services and warehouse space,” Mennell said. “So far, Quad has stored and moved more than 1 million magazines for MagLiteracy.org. The literacy rewards we have been able to achieve thanks to Quad’s generous support are immeasurable.”

Joel Quadracci, Chairman, President & CEO of Quad, said: “Myriad recent events – from the COVID-19 pandemic to natural disasters and widespread social unrest – have reinforced the importance of prioritizing people. Now more than ever we must work with urgency and focus to affect tangible, lasting change. We are proud to support the very important work being undertaken by John Mennell and MagLiteracy.org. We hope our cornerstone contribution will inspire publishers – as well as other printers and supply-chain partners – to join us in this important humanitarian effort. MagLiteracy.org is building a literacy pipeline that we can fill with magazines, comic books and other types of reading materials. Through this effort, we can increase literacy and help lift people out of poverty. This is consistent with our long-standing company values, including Believe in People and Innovate, and our unremitting drive to create a better way for our clients, our communities and our world.”

Numerous publishers are already supplying magazines to MagLiteracy.org, including those who publish materials specifically for children and families. “We thank everyone who is supporting our mission,” Mennell said. “Demand for literacy support services has only grown during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are glad to be part of the solution, and look forward to growing our presence all across the nation.”

(1) National Institute for Literacy
(2) American Journal of Public Health / American Public Health Association
(3) National Council for Adult Learning
(4) Reading Is Fundamental

About MagLiteracy.org
MagLiteracy.org exists to promote literacy, strengthen readership and learning, and end poverty by supplying recycled and new magazines to literacy programs. The 501(c)3 non-profit, formally known as the Magazine Publishers Family Literacy Project, rescues every available magazine for delivery to at-risk readers to help develop lasting, life-long reading habits that change lives for good. For additional information visit www.magliteracy.org

Discussion

By HARVEY LEVENSON on Sep 15, 2020

Kudos to Quad!

Literacy is a cornerstone of a democracy and free society, and recognized as far back as the Roman Empire. With the seemingly new reality in education with home teaching and learning likely to continue beyond COVID-19, the understanding of the relevance of books and reading has become imperative for young students and parents.

It is well known that reading from books, as opposed to reading on screens, is more pervasive, meaningful, informative, and retention levels are higher. This is a concept that should logically be promoted by the printing and publishing industries. In fact, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I presided over a group that was known as the Graphic Arts Literacy Alliance (GALA). We conducted seminars and conference presentations on literacy, and raised funds for grassroots literacy efforts in the nation. We were supported by the then Public Printer of the United States and the US Government Printing Office (now the US Government Publishing Office) and in a nonpartisan way by the Department of Education and The White House when literacy was a priority. With Quad’s generous contribution to MagLiteracy.org, perhaps its time to re-introduce the importance of literacy as a national initiative led by the printing and publishing industries.

 

Discussion

Join the discussion Sign In or Become a Member, doing so is simple and free