Tiffany Harris via Crowdrise
March 14, 2012
BENEFITING: JUNIOR LEAGUE OF SANTA BARBARA INC
EVENT DATE: Feb 14, 2012
As a child, I was so incredibly lucky that my parents provided me with a wealth of books that led to the joy of reading.
Being from a small town in south Alabama, I was fascinated with the lives of the two beautiful main characters, twin sisters, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield in the Sweet Valley book series. I followed Jessica and Elizabeth from their time in elementary school, high school and throughout college.
They inspired me to attend college, join a sorority and live abroad. I finally landed in sunny Southern California and met my wonderful husband. It was because of my love of reading and my desire to meet friends in my new home that I joined the Junior League of Santa Barbara. Not only does the Junior League support Children’s Literacy programs, it has also provided me with an amazing group of women who have become some of my greatest friends.
Since joining the Junior League in 2010, I have become involved in many ways including:
Co-Chair, Co-Chair, 2012-2013, 6th Annual Literacy Gala
Fund Development, 2012-2013, Santa Barbara Design House & Gardens Committee (2nd Placement)
Co-Chair, 2011-2012, 5th Annual American Girl Fashion Show
Committee Member, 2011-2012, State Planning Affairs Committee (2nd Placement)
Co-Chair, 2010-2011, Kids in the Kitchen
As you can see, I am passionate about the Junior League and our philanthropy, Children’s Literacy. Not every child is lucky enough to have books at home to read and I want to change that. I am hoping you will choose to join me and my husband in supporting this wonderful, necessary cause. Whether you can give $1,000 or $10, every dollar counts.
BASIC FACTS ABOUT LITERACY
Literacy is the ability to read, write, compute, and use technology at a level that enables an individual to reach his or her full potential as a parent, employee, and community member.
There are 759 million adults--approximately 16 percent of the world's population--who have only basic or below basic literacy levels in their native languages.
Two-thirds of the world’s lowest literate adults are women (640 million women have basic or below basic literacy skills).
In the U.S., 63 million adults — 29 percent of the country’s adult population —over age 16 don’t read well enough to understand a newspaper story written at the eighth grade level.
An additional 30 million — 14 percent of the country’s adult population — can only read at a fifth grade level or lower.
Forty-three percent of adults with the lowest literacy rates in the United States live in poverty.
The United States ranks fifth on adult literacy skills when compared to other industrialized nations.
Adult low literacy can be connected to almost every socio-economic issue in the United States:
More than 65 percent of all state and federal corrections inmates can be classified as low literate.
Low health literacy costs between $106 billion and $236 billion each year in the U.S.
Seventy-seven million Americans have only a 2-in-3 chance of correctly reading an over-the-counter drug label or understanding their child's vaccination chart.
Low literacy’s effects cost the U.S. $225 billion or more each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.
Globally, illiteracy can be linked to:
• Gender abuse, including female infanticide and female circumcision
• Extreme poverty (earning less than $1/day)
• High infant mortality and the spread of HIV/Aids, malaria, and other preventable infectious diseases
The Junior League of Santa Barbara's journey for the renovation of the Downtown Public Library began a few years ago when our New Members raised $80,000 in a few short months to renovate the Eastside branch of the public library. Since then, the Eastside Library has become more accessible to our community’s youth, and has even attracted teenage boys who have started playing chess after school. This new draw to the teen population on the Eastside is largely due to the Junior League’s efforts, which made the Martin Luther King Room a place where teens in the community want to be. This project sparked excitement for an even larger scale project, and this year we have a unique and exciting opportunity to make a long-lasting impact by contributing to the fundraising efforts that will support a complete renovation of the children’s area of the Santa Barbara Downtown Public Library.
We are currently collaborating with the Santa Barbara Public Library to create an inspiring new children’s area in the current basement of the library. To our delight, the entire basement (6,000 sq ft) has been allocated to what will be the new children’s space, which is being designed to accommodate children ages 0-12. The project will include interior design, programming and volunteer coordination, as well as new elements for performing arts, crafts, and a computer center. An architect has been selected and design phase is well underway.
Our goal is to raise $150,000 by May 2012. With the help of your generous donation, we will be able to raise enough money to help create a fantastic new children’s area for the Downtown Santa Barbara Public Library, as well as implement new programming to enrich the lives of children in our area and to greatly improve our community. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your contribution.