In Gratitude and Celebration: Thank you Be the Star You Are!®

Be the Star You AreIn February 2004, a colleague told me about Cynthia Brian and Be the Star You Are!®, her nonprofit to empower women, families, and youth through literacy and positive media.

I didn’t know Cynthia, but I took a chance and wrote a letter asking if she’d be interested in being a literacy partner with the Reading Tub, then just four months old. She said yes!

The Reading Tub’s interest was the opportunity to walk the talk vis-a-vis literacy: connect teen readers with books and give them a chance to practice literacy skills by writing reviews. Cynthia’s goal was to expose teens – and other readers – to opportunities to be empowered by positive media.

To help women, families, and youth we provide access to positive and productive information and role models through books and our first class good news radio program. We help individuals discover their passion, learn life skills, gain effective conflict management skills, and build self-esteem through increased literacy and positive programs. [Great Nonprofits Website]

Cynthia created a system where teens and young adults could apply to be part of the review team. They would read books provided by authors and publishers, as well as borrow books from the library. Some even share books they are reading in school.

literacy nonprofitFifteen years ago this week, what became known a the Star Teen Book Review Team sent us the first book review.

As of last Sunday, the Be the Star You Are!® collection of reviews is 457!  By the time I publish this post, it will likely be more than 460!

Those California rains are energizing the kids to read! We’ve gotten 34 book reviews so far this year and they are coming in faster than I can get them published on the website. A good problem to have to be sure!!

It is ALWAYS exciting to me when I see Cynthia’s name on an email because something exciting awaits me when I open it! Whether it is a book I’ve read or one that is new to me, the reviewers never fail to floor me with their insights and perspectives. I can count on them to call ’em as they see ’em, but also to share personal ways in which a story or character affected them.

I treasure their reviews and hope that if you’ve not visited their collection, that you take a moment today. Click this link or go to Books > Book Lists > Teen Reviews in the navigation to get started. The most recent reviews are always on Page 1.

Literacy is not only a priceless gift but an empowering skill. If you are looking to donate to a nonprofit whose sole purpose is empowering others, please put Be the Star You Are!® at the top of your list.

literacy nonprofits