take KARE of your FAMILY
Plymouth girl works to change one million lives
Updated: 3/30/2009 3:30:10 PM
According to the National Commission on Reading, the single most important factor influencing a child's early educational success is being introduced to books at home before beginning school.
A Plymouth girl who has loved reading all her life is working hard to get stories into the hands of kids who've never had books of their own.
Maria Keller loves sharing a good story.
"Little pig, little pig, let me in," Maria said while reading aloud from a children's book.
She loves sharing with her little brother Ryan and children who've never heard about the Little Pigs' happy ending.
Maria's hoping to share...with a whole lot of those children.
"The program is called Read Indeed," Maria's mom Maura Keller said.
Read Indeed is eight-year-old Maria's big idea to bring books to little readers all over the world.
"She just came up with this number that I want to do a million books. And at first she said a million books and I took a gasp. And then she said by the time I'm 18, which is almost nine years from now." Maura said.
One million books by the time Maria turns 18.
"It's a huge goal," Maura added.
It's a huge goal that's starting to get an equally-huge response.
"My dining room's going to be taken over by books for the next nine years. But I'm ok with that," Maura said smiling.
Stacks and stacks of only the sturdiest books. Even with lofty goal of a million stories, Maria's still got high standards.
"The spine might be breaking. We don't want that. We want it to last a while," Maria said. "We've got about 5,000 to 6,000 now."
Some books have already hand-delivered to a thankful staff at St. Joseph's Home for Children in Minneapolis.
"They said thank you and they liked it. Made me feel pretty good," Maria said.
Others will soon go Native American kids living on a Nebraska reservation.
"She's giving them something that they can call their own. And there are so many children that she has been told who have never literally owned a book in their entire life," Maura said.
If Maria's story ends as planned, nine years from now there will be one million more kids who've heard a story with a happy ending.
Maria and her family would like thank everyone who's already contributed to the effort. You can find out more about helping with the collection and follow Maria's book count by going to her web page. Click here to go to Read Indeed.