Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, June 12

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Miscellaneous Tue Oct 09 2012

Be a Literacy Advocate

Remember back in 2009, when President Obama urged Americans to help in our nation's recovery by serving in their communities? Well, it's not too late (and really never will be). In our literary city, there are tons of ways to spread the love of reading and writing as a volunteer. Following is a round-up of a few non-profits eager to match bookish volunteers with participating youth and adults.

At 826CHI, the Chicago branch of Dave Egger's popular writing and tutoring center, you can support 8-16 year olds with creative and expository writing skills. Programs include in-school and after-school programming, field trips and creative workshops--or you can peddle wares in the Boring Store (which is not an undercover secret agent supply store).

The Neighborhood Writing Alliance gathers adults from low-income neighborhoods to write about their lives, the results of which are collected in the Journal of Ordinary Thought, and performed at various events and readings. You can serve as a workshop leader, develop artistic partnerships, proofread and more.

As a volunteer with Open Books, you can be a "Big Buddy" and spend 30 minutes a week reading with your "Little Buddy." Or, you can help teens write memoirs, assist with field trips at their literary center, or mentor virtually. Plus, they have an enormous bookstore, with all proceeds going to support the mission.

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Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

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