In celebration of Accio Books!, HPA members all over the world are unleashing their inner Hermione Granger and spreading the joy of reading. Since 2009, HPA members have helped build libraries in Rwanda, New York City, the Mississippi Delta, and Portland, OR. This year, we are bringing the magic to Detroit!
We are partnering with the Brightmoor Community Center and the Whomping Wolverines because low literacy is a major issue in Detroit. A little wand waving and a quick Google search leads curious witches and wizards to a mind-boggling statistic: 47% of Detroit residents qualify as “functionally illiterate” and struggle with reading, writing, speaking, and computational skills. Some have questioned whether the 47% statistic is accurate or timely (the original study was conducted in 1993), but most sources agree: low literacy levels are a major issue in Detroit.
Being able to read and understand complex texts is what allowed Hermione to identify the monster hidden in the Chamber of Secrets and to uncover the truth behind Beedle the Bard’s children’s tales. In the muggle world, literacy is equally as important. Job seekers with low literacy skills struggle to find work and low-reading parents are often unable to help their children with school work. Researchers have even found that people with low literacy skills are more likely to wait until they are very sick to seek medical care and are less likely to participate in disease prevention activities, which contributes to rising healthcare costs. Overall, low literacy levels and the resulting complications are major contributors to economic inequality. When a huge portion of the population struggles to read a job application or understand a prescription label, it is clear that the odds are not in our favor.
Harry Potter fans know the difference a good book can make – and so do researchers. Studies show that early access to books can improve children’s reading habits, but schools and libraries in underprivileged communities have fewer books to go around. That’s where you come in. When you donate to the Apparating Library in the Brightmoor Community Center, you are putting more books into the eager hands of young Detroiters. Accio Books! is about more than giving away books. It is about spreading the power of story in communities that need it the most. Whether you donate one or one hundred books this year, you are adding a little more magic to the world. The more magic there is in the world – the more education and passion and creative solutions we cultivate – the closer we get to the day when the odds really are in everyone’s favor.
Books of all types can be mailed directly to:
The Apparating Library
℅ Brightmoor Community Center
14451 Burt Rd.
Detroit, MI 48223
And you can go to our website for more ways to get involved with Accio Books.