Photo courtesy of Kate Arena

We live in a nation where a breathtaking 65+ million non-elderly people are now living below the poverty line.  Rural America represents the poorest of America’s poor — the very bottom of an economic ladder that fewer and fewer have the capacity to climb.  Children are affected the deepest.

Reading is a transformative act, involving a free writer and a free reader.  Committed literature, according to Jean-Paul Sartre, is an imperative call – both a demand and a gift.  By reading my book, says Sartre, you are taking responsibility for the world with me. We will transform it together.

The Living Arts Corporation has tried to honor their parental inheritance of The Lewis Carroll Shelf Awards and put quality children’s literature into the hands of  America’s rural youth.  To do so, we have traveled across the deep south and personally gifted children with books and story reading sessions in parks, alleys, front doorsteps, and street curbs.  Over the years we have gifted 10,000 books to young children, each of whom won our hearts.