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Literacy Builds Bridges to Peace, Prosperity & Planet - Reading-Aloud to Women, Men & Children of All Ages Builds Literacy - 06/04

"The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading-aloud to children." C.R.

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

As of 06/04 Read To Me Now/RTMN will operate as a USA-based educational, communications outreach, & professional development program working directly with constituents providing: read-aloud educational materials; technical assistance; workshops; literature/books (as available from publishers & others); read-aloud booklists; 'Imagination TravelKits’; digital media resources; on-line webinars; & more. RTMN is a project focused upon literacy & more broadly the people, families, love, inter-faith values, integrity, shared responsibility, education, & positivity fueled by increased literacy. RTMN’s primary goal will be to educate our target populations about reading-aloud & it's importance & effectiveness in the race to read better now. RTMN will promote: personal empowerment; hands-on direct engagement; family participation; human relations; joy; storytelling; community outreach; & accountability. Please see UEM's attached below to learn how RTMN plans to deliver their services. Our belief is that this project idea will bridge Peace, Prosperity & Planet because effective inter-personal communication skills, governance, leadership strategies, & cultural awareness are wholly dependent upon one's ability to read. If one is not able to read meaningfully in their native language - one is not able to do much, or go very far within modern-day society. Plus, attaining the highest level of literacy within a populace is a cornerstone & a harbinger of a healthy, just society. In summary: Peace grows from Understanding; Prosperity feeds off Curiosity; & Planet benefits from Knowledge, which are all made possible when one can read for meaning in their native language. Read-aloud pedagogy needs to become an integral component of modern-day reading skills development & early education/literacy practices for young and old, alike. RTMN intends to improve the lives of men, women & children by strengthening their minds, their hearts, & their spirits.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Illiteracy is a serious global problem, which deserves immediate attention & targeted actions. " estimated 32 million adults in the USA — about one in seven — are saddled with such low literacy skills that it would be tough for them to read anything more challenging than a children's picture book or to understand a medication's side effects listed on a pill bottle." - USA Today 'Read To Me Now/RTMN' read-aloud programs & outreach activities will benefit children between the ages of 3 & 13, as well as their parents, extended-family members, caregivers, teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents & siblings. RTMN reading-aloud programs & read-aloud activities will provide men, women & children in communities of all shapes, sizes, cultural, religious, & ethnic backgrounds with direct access to simple, attainable, effective, & affordable ways & methods of increasing their reading & literacy skills. RTMN intends to leave no community behind in the race to read better now.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Read To Me Now/RTMN is not an anti-technology initiative - technology has its place & purpose & will be used extensively for program development & delivery. RTMN is unabashedly pro-human voice - there is no substitute for the sound, the comfort, the affinity shared through our common spoken-word/vocal heritages. RTMN is profoundly pro-human contact - there is no more comfortable place to be than in close proximity to someone reading us a story. RTMN will focus its efforts on delivering information, 'Imagination TravelKits', professional development & educational services focused on a basic & yet well-documented premise: "The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children." - The U.S. Commission on Reading RTMN’s ability to develop & deliver industry-leading read-aloud pedagogies that will be adopted & practiced across cultures & continents is the prize upon which our eyes are focused.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Read To Me Now/RTMN will operate as a USA-based sole-proprietorship within the: educational; communications outreach; & professional development program sector engaging directly with constituents & partner organizations around the world. *** Pending funding acquisition/requirements RTMN could also be run as a 501(c)(3) NPO. Web: Spanish URL: http://www.lé Facebook: Twitter:

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

I was a 'Top Idea' winner in the 2016 OpenIDEO Challenge: "How might we re-imagine the end-of-life experience for ourselves & our loved ones?" I learned about this BridgeBuilder Challenge via an OpenIDEO e-mail. I've spent 42+ yrs. reading-aloud children's books & working with children/young families on literacy, education, communication & inter-faith value initiatives. I'm where I want to be.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Illiteracy severely impacts the everyday lives of men, women & children living here in the United States & around the world. An improvement in reading & literacy skills increases a person's ability to understand what's going on around them & Peaceful thoughts, Peaceful attitudes, & Peaceful actions grow from that Understanding. When one's life is made better by the acquisition of things sparked by Curiosity - it is made more Prosperous. Strong reading & literacy skills increase people's ability to learn about new things - things which feed in to making their lives more Prosperous. Knowledge is power - plain & simple - and it provides people with the ability to make better plans & choices in regards to our Planet, environment, & human/natural resources. Higher levels of reading & literacy skills provide the keys that unlock the Knowledge required to care for, protect & enhance our Planet.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

Read To Me Now seeks to place literacy at the very intersection of Peace, Prosperity, & Planet in radically new ways. It is our belief that there are numerous partner agencies who will be able to engage with RTMN on these initiatives. Every community has schools, libraries, organizations & groups of people working on literacy issues within their locality. RTMN will provide materials, books, technical assistance & guidance focused on educating women, men & children about reading-aloud & it's importance & effectiveness in the race to read better now. This is a project idea that will be focused on the direct engagement of local groups, agency leaders, teachers & constituents. RTMN will promote: personal empowerment; hands-on direct engagement; family participation; human relations; joy; storytelling; community outreach; & accountability, which in the aggregate will effectively bridge Peace, Prosperity & Planet.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

When a person is unable to read meaningfully in their native language they are much less likely to thrive & prosper. Engaging in read-aloud activities & providing access to books has been proven to provide people with greatly increased literacy skills & emotional gains, as well. Once a higher level of literacy is achieved the basic instincts people possess for self-preservation, human kindness & caring will flourish - bridging Peace, Prosperity & Planet for themselves & those around them.

Geographic Focus

Within the USA 1st as a USA-based project. Then worldwide as the global community engages over time.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

1 - 06 Months/Phase One - Initial Organization Set-up, Partnering Activities, Marketing/Implementation Program Development Process. 07- 24 Months/Phase Two - Project Roll-Out (based upon assessment of Areas of Dominant Influence/ADI per Marketing/Implementation Program Development Process) 24 - 36 Months/Phase Three - Implementation of Ongoing Program Development Activities & Acquisition of Ongoing Funding Requirements

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No
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Team (13)

Paul's profile
Diane's profile
Diane Ennis

Role added on team:

"Co-Founder of RTMN/Digital Designer/Photographer - The inter-connectedness between education, imagination & reading is palpable. Three of my favorite quotes are: #1 - "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." W.B. Yeats, & #2 - "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." Albert Einstein, & #3 - "All is Chosen!"

Segun's profile
Segun Abiri

Role added on team:

"Community Partner Organization - Segun Abiri is a teacher, writer, public speaker & social worker. Keenly interested in education & particularly adult education. Segun is the Founder & Executive Director of Literacy for Adult & Adult for Women Initiative (LADEWIN), an NGO with the mandate of Adult Basic Education for uneducated rural Nigeria."

Janet's profile
Janet Zagoria

Role added on team:

"Website & Digital Communications Consultant - Since 1999, Janet Zagoria has designed & developed many Websites for both small businesses and nonprofits. Prior to this, she worked for 16 years with and at publications (newspapers, magazines and books) as designer, photographer and in marketing. She has also taught Web design (HTML) at a junior college. You can review her portfolio at:"

Mercedes Jeanne's profile
Mercedes Jeanne Reynolds

Role added on team:

"Spanish Translation Consultant - Mercedes is fluent in both Spanish & English & provides translation/interpreting services in a variety of settings. She has had extensive experience working with the Hispanic community in a variety of locales and capacities. She currently runs her own translation business in Humboldt and Del Norte, CA counties serving a wide variety of government, social, and private agencies in both written and oral modes. Mercedes holds a BA in Spanish, Mills College."

Tee's profile
Tee Clare

Role added on team:

"Tee Clare is an Artist, Educator, Spiritual Counselor, certified Death Doula & Peer Support Specialist. He is a Reiki & Pranic Healing practitioner, Empath, as well as a Visionary. Tee Clare spent 30 years in California pursuing & studying Shamanic, Alternative Healing & Grief as a transformative tool. He is currently working in the Greater New York area as a Peer Support Specialist assisting others like himself, navigate mental health issues, grief and recovery."

Rabbi Lester's profile
Rabbi Lester Scharnberg

Role added on team:

"Spiritual Advisor - Rabbi Scharnberg performs interfaith wedding ceremonies, cantorial rituals, bar & bat mitzvahs, circumcisions, funeral services, rites of passage & other creative ceremonies & celebrations. He is a theologian, religious educator & spiritual counselor for individuals & families. He is available for academic consultations regarding questions of theology & Jewish law. He is firmly committed to an interfaith dialogue & interfaith expressions of unity among all people."

Julianna's profile
Julianna Thibodeaux

Role added on team:

"Content Writer/Editor - Julianna Thibodeaux is a freelance writer, editor, creative writing teacher, and writing coach based in the greater Boston area. She is the recipient of several first-place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and recently published work in Art New England, Big Red & Shiny, and Flash Frontier. She has received grants from the Marblehead Cultural Council in Massachusetts, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and the Indiana Arts Commission."

Christina's profile
Christina Schwanke

Role added on team:

"Community Partner Organization - Christina grew up in a town of 800 people in Northern California. She has witnessed the deterioration of Rural resources in her hometown including healthcare and education. Christina’s background is in public relations, project coordination and infrastructure development. She is passionate about economic sustainability through apprenticeship."

Joan's profile
Joan Wink

Role added on team:

"Educational and Developmental Consultant - Joan has been involved with languages/literacies throughout her distinguished career in public education and higher education for 50+ years. Her work has been presented to teachers and students in PA, SD, TX, CA, and AZ, as well as internationally. To learn more about Joan - and to quite simply just learn - please visit her website at:"

Sean's profile
Sean Huang

Role added on team:

"Pilot Project Administrator/Beijing, China - Sean Huang is a longtime associate & business advisor to Paul Ennis/RTMN. His acumen within the financial, communications, governmental & social fabric sectors of China & Chinese culture are renowned. Sean's higher educational learnings included several years spent within the United States before his return to China to begin his family-life chapter, which now has him reading-aloud to his young daughter on a nightly basis. Welcome Sean!"

Charles's profile
Charles Betterton, MSCED

Role added on team:

"Community Partner Organization - Charles has over 40 years of experience including 12 with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a disaster-relief, turn-around management and community development specialist, about 3 years as Director of Community and Economic Development for a small City, and additional service as founder/cofounder of non-profits and affiliated "cause-oriented" companies including Benefit Corporations. Welcome aboard, Charles!"

Brian's profile
Brian Bauer

Role added on team:

"Device/App Collaboration Partner - Brian works with world–class social impact startups to leverage sustainability into a strategy that accelerates & amplifies impact. He applies sustainability & technology knowledge to create a nexus between innovative ideas & non-dilutive financial opportunities available to high–impact social enterprises. His knowledge of international development allows him to create strategic partnership opportunities that generate long-term value & optimize sustainability."

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Attachments (4)


This User Experience Map_RTMN #4 explains how a 'Read To Me Now App' could be developed resulting in widespread access to the read-aloud pedagogies now in development...


This User Experience Map_RTMN #3 explains how a local (Northern California, USA) Parent Teacher Group might be able to schedule an evening seminar with two of the RTMN 'Read-Aloud Educators', resulting in the following type of exchange...


This User Experience Map_RTMN #2 explains how a Rural Literacy Organization in southern Mississippi, USA, who needs help in the fight against illiteracy for the children enrolled in their public school system might be able to work with RTMN via the Internet, resulting in the following type of exchange...


This User Experience Map_RTMN #1 explains how a Community Organization/NGO in a South American country might be able to find out about RTMN via our website & then possibly reach-out for help & assistance via e-mail, resulting in the following type of exchange...


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