An Opportunity to Help

Literacy Lifeboats Initiative

Lucy Calkins and the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project have launched Literacy Lifeboats, an initiative to support teachers and children in schools that have been hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. This effort cannot provide homes and roads, but it can help survivors remember that throughout history, people have used words to make sense of their lives, to reach for help, to reconstruct narratives of hope and resolve. Your tax deductible donation can provide hard-hit schools with an abundance of beautiful books, and with the rugs, easels, and bookcases that enable teachers to reconstruct literacy-rich classrooms. The initiative will also provide school principals with a contingency fund to meet the most crying needs of their community. With additional support from world-renowned writers, Literacy Lifeboats will help New York City’s K-8 schools that have suffered unimaginable losses, stay afloat and carry on.

Because the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with New York City teachers and principals for almost three decades, the organization is poised to provide immediate help at the points of greatest need. The TCRWP is donating time and personnel to organize and manage this effort, so every penny you give will go directly to the schools. This effort will help classrooms that have set the standard for literacy instruction across the world. The schools across NYC have been a source of inspiration and knowledge for hundreds of thousands of educators.

Now New York City needs a hand. Will you reach out to those who are suffering most?      Donate Now »

In Staten Island, the principal of P.S. 38 writes: “Teachers were in cleaning the school, working in the near dark, with mops and buckets brought from home. The school building survived, but their books, notebooks, copiers, were all destroyed.”

Another principal from Far Rockaway adds, “Words cannot describe how very devastating and traumatic this experience has been for our children. One family was trapped on their roof for ten hours with their four daughters. Our community is completely devastated and we do not know where to turn. Our school has always been a safe haven for our children and they want to be back.”

It was once said that “One of the best-kept secrets in this technically oriented culture is that simply speaking truth heals.” So many of our children have lost not just physical comforts—warm beds, secure homes—but a sense of being heard and supported. Please help us as we work to rebuild literacy-rich classrooms, places where our children’s words and stories matter, and where students can use literature and writing as a catalyst for growth and healing.

Thank you for considering this opportunity to make a difference.

For more information or to donate click here


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