In celebration of International Literacy Day and the 16th anniversary of the founding of MagLiteracy.org this week, Quad announced 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, WI, 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% of adults with low literacy levels live in poverty, and 70% of adult public assistance recipients have low literacy levels1;
- 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 literacy2; (
- Individuals with low literacy have a higher rate of unemployment and earn lower wages than the national average3;
- Most poor children live in homes with zero books4
“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.”
“Myriad recent events – from the COVID-19 pandemic to natural disasters and widespread social unrest – have reinforced the importance of prioritizing people," said Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and CEO of Quad. "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," Quadracci continued.
"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," he concluded.
(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