There are a number of great organizations working hard to fight illiteracy, a plague that still affects nearly one out of every five people on the planet, and two-thirds of all women. But there’s a disturbing social issue that in some ways is even more heartbreaking: individuals who have the ability to read but still lack the access to a book.
Kobo has decided to fight that epidemic with the launch of its social responsibility programs geared towards providing book access to people across a variety of demographics. From helping other agencies provide a “first” book of their own to children, all the way through helping senior adults who may have had to move to a care facility and leave their books behind.
One of the areas of greatest concern is the would-be readers who turn away from an emerging love of books once access to reading material is limited. The opportunity to become a lifelong reader was halted in mid-progress, simply due to lack of books. Kobo is partnering with a number of agencies to put a stop to that.
“There are several crucial periods where would-be readers can drop off and be denied the joy that reading can bring to life. Early reading skills are extremely important, naturally; but research shows that older children who struggle with reading with middle school and later are at risk of giving up entirely. Further, in old age, reading can go by the wayside as eyesight and hand strength fail or as older adults downsize into smaller housing and leave their books behind – all issues that eReaders can assist,” the company stated in a press release.
Rakuten Kobo is working with First Book Canada, Frontier College, and Family Councils Ontario on the new programs, aimed at bringing books to readers of all ages.