SALT LAKE CITY — Utah-based author Shannon Hale celebrated her birthday Monday, and she has just one birthday wish from her fans.
Hale, author of “The Goose Girl”and “The Princess in Black,” among others, is inviting fans to donate funds to Kids Need to Read, an organization that gifts “inspiring books to underfunded schools, libraries and literacy programs across the United States,” according to Kids Need to Read.
“All research shows that having age-appropriate books in the house, kids are more likely to read. And the more children read, the better they do in every subject in school and the better chance they have at success in life,” Hale said in an interview with KSL.com. “Access to books and reading is fundamental for success as an adult.”
Hale has been involved in a variety of fundraisers with Kids Need to Read for the last five years, and her desire to promote childhood reading has extended to multiple charities, including a local organization she founded, Writing for Charity.
Once a year, Utah authors and illustrators get together and put on the Writing for Charity conference, a workshop for children’s book writers, according to its website. This year, the conference will be held March 21 at the Provo Library at Academy Square. All proceeds from the conference will go toward gifting books to kids, Hale said.
Any time I can be involved with an organization that gets books into kids hands who might not otherwise have them, I want to be on board with that.
“I think that there’s nothing more important to success in life than childhood literacy,” Hale said. “Access to books and the ability to read them is essential for not only intellectual health, but emotional. For some kids, books are their only friends. It’s where they can meet people who understand, who get them. And it’s heartbreaking to think that, but that is reality for a lot of kids.”
While on tour last October, Hale got the opportunity to visit an underfunded school in Washington, D.C.
At a school assembly for third graders, an organization called An Open Book presented a copy of Hale’s “The Princess in Black” to each child and Hale signed all of the copies.
“They kept saying, ‘We get to take it home, we get to keep it forever?’ ” Hale said. “I was trying not to cry, because it was really touching and really sweet. Any time I can be involved with an organization that gets books into kids hands who might not otherwise have them, I want to be on board with that.”
To donate to Hale’s fundraiser for Kids Need to Read, visit the *website. Donations will be accepted through Jan. 29.
*KSL.com has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does KSL.com assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.