Literacy is a vital skill. Children who read well are more likely to be successful than those who do not achieve literacy. In fact, children who struggle to read and write are more likely to be unemployed, face food scarcity, and end up incarcerated as adults.
This year, Oregon learned that our children aren't meeting the expected standards for literacy across the board. According to the Oregon Dept. of Education, fifty-four percent of third graders failed to meet the reading benchmark. Low literacy rates in Oregon matter; reports have shown that students who fail to meet literacy benchmarks by the fourth grade are FOUR TIMES more likely to drop out of high school than students who met the mark (of course, we'd like to see the kiddos surpass that mark!).
As avid readers, writers, and editors, we simply cannot allow this to happen, and decided that we wanted to help Oregonians bridge the gap. We have decided that the best way we can help is to bolster the resources available to students in Oregon.
Starting on 11/1/2019, Unsolicited Press began designing and selling apparel using Amazon's Merch program. The apparel, ranging from tank tops to sweaters, features snarky and inspiring quotes and designs. The team has decided that $5 from every sale will be donated to SMART Reading (https://smartreading.org/). Our goal is to hit $5,000 in donations.
The apparel is available on Amazon (search for Unsolicited Press apparel). Some of the designs are below. We are adding more designs every day. This fundraising effort will continue until we hit the $5,000 mark.
If you choose to buy a shirt, we would love for you to take a picture with you wearing it and share it with us via Twitter or Instagram. Help us help Oregon's students.
As you know, Unsolicited Press is comprised of volunteers (they have day jobs!) and all money received from book sales is funneled back into the press. Due to this unique formula, we must seek funding from external sources to continue the publishing program.
This year, Unsolicited Press is looking to raise funds to help offset the cost a new ISBNs, listing fees, office rent, and other must-have items. We aren't asking for the entire cost to be supported by others, but simply to help subsidize those costs so we can use the current cash flow to market and support current and forthcoming titles.
The funding that we raise will go to fund our 2020-2022 publishing programs, including the much anticipated "Gender Equality 2020" program in which Unsolicited Press will publish an equal number of men and women.
We ask that if you can donate, please do. And if you can't help spread the word by sharing it with your networks.