Lacey Bakker, author and publisher at Pandamonium Publishing House wants the gift of literacy for all Canadians this holiday season...
Above Video Transcript:
Giving the Gift of Literacy
2.3 million Canadians have diabetes, 1.6 million Canadians have heart disease, and 300,000 Canadians have cancer, but all of these numbers combined do not come close to the amount of people who are illiterate in Canada. 12 million Canadians are illiterate, that’s 1/3 of our population! That means that they do not read or write well enough to perform basic, daily tasks. The effects of illiteracy on our economy, our neighbourhoods, our nation, and the world are devastating. If illiteracy was deemed a global health crisis, it would be an epidemic. Literacy is linked to everything- poverty, the economy, and mortality rates. A 1 percent increase in literacy in Canada would add 32 BILLION dollars to the economy. Low literacy means that the government collects less income tax and taxpayers spend more on social programs such as our justice system, social assistance, and healthcare. It is expensive for taxpayers to fund high school dropouts because high school dropouts cost taxpayers 7.7 billion dollars annually and kids who cannot read, don’t stay in school. What about the age of children who are illiterate and have problems reading? You would think that they’re the highest amount in the population, but you would be wrong. The highest amount of illiterate people in Canada are over the age of 50. The time period age of 6-12 months in children is critical for infant brain development and people think kids this age shouldn’t be read books because they don’t understand or they can’t read, but this is a misconception-the earlier that you read to your children and grandchildren, the better. We have a problem in this country because we know there are a lot of people who have low income and children from those low income homes hear 1/3 the amount of words that a child would who grows up in a middle to high income home. And by the time they reach school age, that number is closer to 50%. Did you know that by the age of 5, the vocabulary that the child knows at that point is a good indicator of what their vocabulary will be at the age of 17. The illiterate die young and so do their children. They earn less money and they’re more likely to go to prison as 74% of inmates cannot read past a grade 4 level. And the neighbourhoods that they live in are riddled with crime, poverty, and disease. The consequences of illiteracy are devastating for families, our neighbourhoods, our nation, and our world. To raise literacy levels there are a lot of things that we can do:
1) Read to our kids - Books are magic!
2) Monkey see monkey do - Reading is a celebrated activity in our homes.
3) We can donate books and time. Volunteer literacy, reading programs.
4) We can let our kids read whatever they’re going to read. Let them read comics and graphic novels. Any type of reading is better than none.
What is Pandamonium Publishing House doing to combat illiteracy in our country and in our own backyards?
1) School visits - now virtual where we talk about books, characters, plots, settings, and how books come to be. Kids can’t be what they can’t see.
2) We donate books to local programs and libraries, events, and individuals.
3) We write books that kids want to read. We keep kids engaged by including interactive things such as hidden elements for kids to find. We want to ignite a love of literacy among children because they are our future.
4) We do book signings and glamourize being an author. We talk about where reading, writing, and our books have taken us around the world.
5) We participate in community events and meet our readers.
6) We offer courses in writing and educate the public on why literacy matters.
So, whatever the problem, literacy is the answer. Give the gift of literacy this holiday season, you could save a life.
Read on for more...
From Pandamonium Publishing: TWELVE DAYS OF RESCUE, by Tonya Cartmell, illustrated by Emily James
An Amazon, NUMBER 1 Best Seller! Meet Socks, a quiet shelter dog who has been waiting her whole life for someone to notice her. Imagine her excitement on the day someone does! How will her life change when she finally gets a family of her own? Follow along with Socks, as she shares the first twelve days with her new family!
An interactive book with hidden hearts on each page and a recipe for homemade dog treats, included!
Lacey Bakker: In October 2015, Pandamonium Publishing House was born. It started with 1 author, 1 illustrator, and 1 book and has grown to 11 authors, 4 illustrators, and an arsenal of books with more on the way. I’m so grateful for each person on our team and am so thankful for all of our readers and clients who believe in us and our work.
My resume includes:
Internationally published over a dozen times for various publications such as Women’s World Magazine (November 2015, June 2016, October 2016, February 2017, April 2017, July 2017, March 2018, June 2018, July 2018, August 2018, December 2020 )and Chicken Soup for the Soul (Laughter is the Best Medicine, 2020, and Think Positive; Live Happy, 2019), and Best Health Magazine (April 2017).
I have been featured in The Hamilton Spectator (How Far Would You Go? November 2019), the Sachem and Gazette for International Women’s Day, as well as on Angie’s Diary (blog). https://angiesdiary.com/interviews/interview-with-l-l-colling/
My story, Number 7, was featured on the Chicken Soup for the Soul Podcast on June 25th.
My books are available in 13 different countries worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, and India. You can find reviews of my books on Good Reads (search LL. Colling) and Amazon (Canada and US) under Lacey L. Bakker and LL Colling.
My book Advice from a Publisher (Insider Secrets to Getting Published) hit number 1 on Amazon in Canada on May 3, 2020, and debuted at number 3 on Amazon in the US on the same day. My children’s book, The Adventures of Milan and Friends, Baseball Bedlam, also hit number 1 on Amazon in Canada on May 22, 2020, and number 3 on Amazon in the United States on the same day. My book, The Magic Pumpkin Farmer, was also on the Amazon Best Sellers List in August 2020. I was nominated in 2019 for Best Local Author in Hamilton.
I was awarded Best Commercial Booth by the Binbrook Agricultural Society in 2017 and have taught writing workshops at Mohawk College, Grimsby Public Library, Sherwood Library, Terry Berry Library, Turner Park Library and have been a guest speaker at Sheridan College for the illustration and design program. I’ve also been a guest speaker at various elementary and secondary schools and was a guest speaker at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference in 2018.
I own 25 copyrights and am the owner of TFP Productions, my film and media company established in 2016. I am a member of the Society of Authors (UK) and a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) in Canada. My background is in Marketing and Advertising, Children’s Literature, and Publishing. I have completed continuing education in New York City, Toronto, Boston, and London, England. I have completed Consumer Neuroscience and Neuromarketing with Copenhagen Business School (Denmark) with a final grade of 88%. I’ve completed Viral Marketing & How to Craft Contagious Content at Wharton with a final grade of 95%.
Thank you for trusting us with your work and your stories! Literacy matters!