In Pittsburgh, it is almost always rainy, or snowy. Cloudy or cold. I’ll admit it’s a bit disheartening to blanket myself in layers of clothing every time I leave my dorm building, but it makes me feel safe against the numbing semblance of winter. Protected.
The sun discloses a revelation in opposition to the cloudy skies and the wintry, bitter wind. It invites us all outside. To lay in the lawn and allow its beams to drown us in sentiments of mercy, goodness, and kindness. Yet, it’s a foreign feeling, the sun. We’ve become so accustomed to the coldness and bitterness of the city of steel that we’ve learned to derive power from it.
We continue to serve our communities despite the snow that disguises our roads with shades of white. We make sure our friends on the streets have enough warmth. We wake up early so that our sidewalks are coated with salt instead of ice.
Literacy Pittsburgh is one of many organizations in Pittsburgh with a mission to serve. They believe in reforming lives through learning, an ideal similar to the one we continue to hold here at Storybox Books. Unfortunately, just in the city of Pittsburgh, about 15% of all adults here struggle with literacy. Literacy Pittsburgh works to dismantle the systems of poverty that envelop immigrants and children by offering one on one tutoring and a smaller and more supportive classroom environment. Their mission and initiatives make it so anyone- adults and children alike- can gain reading and writing skills, equip themselves with strategies for standardized tests, and develop their expertise so that they can qualify for jobs. A particular program that they continue to implement is their family literacy program, an initiative geared towards families in which children can acquire language and literacy skills in addition to their parents.
Literacy Pittsburgh continues to be the largest organization with the goal of breaking down barriers to literacy and education in the region. The work that they do has significant impact and is recognized through the differences they’re making in schools, workplaces, and communities in general. Because of organizations like them, I barely recognize the sorrow in Pittsburgh when it is rainy, snowy, cloudy, or cold.
This Literacy Week Storybox Books is working all across the world to address and improve the educational gap that exists in communities everywhere. Our endeavors are rooted in the belief of equal opportunity and ensuring that every child has access to the literary resources they need to succeed. Today and every day we hope to celebrate and recognize the work different organizations are doing to take steps towards educational equity. Join us, as we break barriers and build bridges one child, one book at a time. We’ll see you on the other side.
-Anushay Chaudhry, Chapter President: University of Pittsburgh