Reading and Writing

By Marisa

While researching something for a different project, I stumbled upon the World Literacy Foundation’s The Economic and Social Costs of Illiteracy: A Snapshot of Illiteracy in a Global Context, and a hundred heartbeats later, I was plotting how I could help spread the word about literacy awareness.

Books saved my life, and I froze under the cold numbers in the report.

– More than 796 million people in the world cannot read and write.

– 67 million children have no access to primary school education.

– 72 million children miss out on secondary school education.

– The cost of illiteracy to the global economy is estimated at USD $1.19 trillion.

When Simon and I founded Simeris Alliance, we developed the company on the premise that we’d be helping emerging writers. If you’ve read the “About” section of our website, you know our journey of how we conceptualized our company.

But what could one small business in southwest Florida do to help raise literacy awareness? How could we make a difference?

I called The Seymour Agency founder, Mary Sue Seymour. After several emails among Mary Sue, senior agent Nicole Resciniti, and literary assistant Lane Heymont, we devised a plan.

  1. Start local – local to me anyway. Nicole runs the southwest Florida office of the agency, where I also work for the agency as the research & development, promotions, and web mistress.
  2. Utilize international resources. The agency’s authors are located all over the world.
  3. Hold an online auction fundraiser and donate that money to a local non-profit organization already helping to raise literacy awareness.

Stay tuned! It’s going to be an exciting summer as we plan and plot and scheme our first fundraising effort.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Gandhi

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