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Booking UN Day

Did you know that more than 113 million kids around the world do not go to school? Most of those children do not know how to read.

The United Nations (UN) is working to solve that problem. The UN is an organization made up of countries around the world. The countries work to promote world peace and to better the lives of poor people, including children.

The UN was formed on October 24, 1945. Each year, the U.S. President asks people to observe this anniversary, called UN Day. In 2003, UN Day focused on literacy, which is the ability to read and write.

Recognizing UN Day

Many communities around the world celebrate UN Day. Some schools participated in special projects to draw attention to improving reading skills.

Weekly Reader donated 800 children's books to a literacy organization in Darien, Connecticut. Called the Book Aid Plan, this group is run by volunteers. They help put books in the hands of people in need around the world.

Books with Weight

Book Aid receives letters from people who are setting up schools and libraries in poor areas of the United States, as well as in countries as far away as Romania, Thailand, and China.

The organization gets the most requests for children's books. Based on the letters they receive, the volunteers at Book Aid decide which books to send, and then they pack the boxes.

For UN Day, the group ships more than 50,000 pounds of books to almost 100 different countries. “We may think a shipment is small, but we'll hear from volunteers saying we tripled the size of their library,” said Barbara Gardner, the president of Book Aid. “The books are small tokens that really help people out.”