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founded in 2014

About Us

Love Letters for Literacy is a service organization that makes kids LOVE LEARNING THE LETTERS OF THE ALPHABET!

OUR MISSION

Love Letters for Literacy equips families in need with handmade literacy packets to make teaching the letters of the alphabet easy and fun! A child’s ability to succeed in school, attend college, and earn a higher salary all begins with the ability to read. But to read you need to know the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make. Love Letters sets out to change the fact that lower-income children may know only 1 or 2 letters of the alphabet when entering kindergarten, compared to middle class children who know all 26! Love Letters teaches families how to make learning the alphabet into a game. Love Letters promotes early literacy while encouraging a lifelong love of reading!

Our goal is to equalize the playing field for all kids by removing barriers to literacy and future educational success.

%

of children from low-income communities starting first grade up to 2 years behind their peers

American families live below the poverty line, many lacking the tools needed to teach their children to read often because they are learning to read themselves

American third graders can't read

What makes us unique

Unlike other organizations which attempt to bridge the literacy gap by donating books, our unique solution empowers families to teach their children to read by providing them with the necessary tools. Love Letters combines the Alphabetic Principle (the alphabet is the building block of literacy and children need to recognize the letters, both in and out of order, and their associated sounds) with the idea of engaging parents to teach this principle while having fun! 

 

Our Team 

Founder & Executive Director

Jordan Grabelle

Love Letters was founded by Jordan Grabelle when she was ten years old. Jordan is now in college at Duke University and has expanded Love Letters from a small service project into a global nonprofit. Jordan launched Love Letters when she learned that many children were entering kindergarten without knowing more than two letters of the alphabet. As an avid reader she wanted to make a difference and help these children on the road to literacy. She grew up learning her ABCs by playing games with her mom using large colorful foam letters. Since donating foam letters would be too expensive, she thought of an innovative cost effective solution – recruit volunteers to make letter flashcards to donate along with fun games for families to play at home with their children.

Hometown: Voorhees, NJ

Education:
Duke University, Class of 2026
Major, Public Policy; Minor, Psychology

Favorite Children’s Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Intern

Sarah Abassy

Why volunteer with us: Growing up I used to always get in trouble at school for constantly having my nose in a book. Reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies and I would love to help others experience how wonderful it is. I believe that education is the most important thing, and a lot of children do not have the privilege of having access to it. Reading and books have created so many great memories for me, and to this day my mom and I still laugh about certain characters and stories that we read together many, many years ago. I would love for other children to experience this, which is why I think that Love Letters for Litercy is a beautiful organization. I love what Love Letters stands for, and I hope that my work here can make a difference for at least a few children. 

HOMETOWN: Vernon, NJ

EDUCATION:
Seton Hall University, Class of 2024
Major, Economics

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK:Sayonara, Mrs. Kackleman



Training & Development Manager

Emily Akin

I was a huge bookworm as a kid. Learning to read was a bit of a struggle for me but once I got better you couldn’t take a book out of my hands. I grew up with the characters in my books and am so thankful to have learned through their different experiences. I’ve loved working with Love Letters because I think it’s so important for children to have the opportunity to read young and well and broaden their horizons. I’ve learned from my books that there’s so many possibilities in life and I love being able to share that with children through Love Letters. 

HOMETOWN: Moscow, ID 

EDUCATION:
University of Idaho, Class of 2020
Major, International Studies; Minors, French & Global Development 

Seton Hall University, Class of 2023
Masters, Global Diplomacy and International Relations 

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!



Intern

Olivia Amorosi

I volunteer with LLL to ensure that a greater number of children across the globe are given access to educational opportunities. When myself and those around me grew up with extensive access to education and the future opportunities that come with that access to education at a young age, we can easily forget that many people around the world don’t have this same access or opportunity. For this reason, it becomes infinitely more important to recognize this inequality and push to change it, so children are not only able to learn but have the ability to love to learn as well. I believe that LLL helps to push this initiative and makes a difference in the educational paths of many young children globally.

HOMETOWN: Vernon, NJ

EDUCATION: 
Seton Hall University, Class of 2023
Major, Diplomacy and International Relations
Minor, Political Science

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK: Where the Wild Things Are



Intern

Carlos Cordero

Language is important because it serves as a bridge for people from different backgrounds and cultures. As someone who learned English as a second language during elementary school, I had the privilege of having a personal tutor who taught me. However, I realized that not everyone in this world has this privilege and it is something I want to change by contributing to Love Letters for Literacy.

One aspect that helped me a lot in learning English was phonetics. It gave me the skills and abilities to articulate sounds properly, which is very important when learning new alphabet letters and pronunciation of words in different languages.

My decision to volunteer for Love Letters for Literacy is rooted in my commitment to supporting others in their literacy journey. I believe that words can bring a positive change in an individual’s life and Love Letters for Literacy encourages that positive change helping children learn and expand on their journey into learning languages.

HOMETOWN: Kinzers, PA

EDUCATION: 
Seton Hall University, Class of 2024
Major, Diplomacy and International Relations

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK: The Little Engine That Could



Intern

Eman Fatima

Originating from Pakistan, I am an immigrant, and my experiences in a country that is still recovering from colonialism have ignited a profound passion for education, especially for young children. I firmly believe that education should not be a privilege but a human right. I am majoring in Diplomacy and International Relations and hope to collaborate with Peace Corps and the United Nations in the future. 

My passion for education and international cooperation has coalesced into a heartfelt decision to engage with Love Letters for Literacy. This organization resonates with my values and allows me to actively channel my energies into a cause that mirrors my beliefs and aspirations.

HOMETOWN: Clifton, NJ

EDUCATION: 
Seton Hall University, Class of 2025
Major, Diplomacy and International Relations
Minor, Arabic and Economics

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK: James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl



Intern

Jayden Reid

I decided to intern for Love Letters for Literacy upon reading their mission statement. Their dedication to improving childhood literacy rates combined with the warm embrace I was met with upon my arrival has made my internship experience blissful. As an individual who has fell in love with reading, Love Letters for Literacy acts as the bridge between my passion for reading and wanting to help those in need. 

HOMETOWN: Freeport, NY

EDUCATION: 
Seton Hall University, Class of 2023
Double Major, Diplomacy & Economics 

New York University Law School, Class of 2027

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK: The Amazing Spider-Man



Intern

Mason Schlesinger

My great grandmother immigrated to the United States when she was seventy-five years old. I witnessed firsthand how difficult it was for her to both survive in her new country without being able to read English and to begin learning to read a new language later in life. Her experience made me realize the importance of learning to read, especially at a young age.

HOMETOWN: Merrick, NY

EDUCATION: 
John F. Kennedy High School, Class of 2026

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day 

Intern

Morgan Sumpter

I’m volunteering with Love Letters for Literary because of their overall mission of service and inclusion. Love Letters for Literacy allows volunteers to give back to their community and ensure that all kids who are entering Kindergarten have the same access to learning the alphabet just like their peers.

HOMETOWN: Charlotte, NC

EDUCATION: 

Seton Hall, Class of  2024
Major, Diplomacy and International Relations
Minor, Communications

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK: The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Intern

Lily Veits

When I was in first grade, my teacher recommended a set of Magic Treehouse books to me and gifted me a few at the end of the year. It was small gestures of encouragement that came from both teachers and family that nourished my love for reading. Education is far too often something that gets overlooked and neglected, and we don’t see the negative impacts until years later. I think we all have a responsibility to ensure that education is equitable and accessible, and that’s why I wanted to work with Love Letters for Literacy. 

HOMETOWN: Colorado Springs, CO

EDUCATION: 

Seton Hall University, Class of 2024
Major, International Relations and Diplomacy

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK: The Mysterious Benedict Society Series

Intern

Amaara Wadhwani

As a zealous student of English Literature, hoping to study the subject at university, reading has always been more than a simple hobby or timepass to me. I was drawn to intern with Love Letters because it gave me an opportunity share my passion with others, helping children to embark upon their own amazing literary journeys. When working with Love Letters, I wish to inspire young minds about the joy of reading and help them recognise the power of their own imaginations and creativity when learning. I am eager to inspire the life-changing impacts that learning to read at a young age can have upon children whilst doing my best to instil a love for reading within them.

HOMETOWN: London, England

EDUCATION: 
Haberdashers’ Girls’ School, Class of 2023

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe 



Intern

Kendall Zimmerman

I decided to intern with Love Letters for Literacy because I have always been passionate about ensuring access to a quality education for all children. I firmly believe that Love Letters for Literacy’s early intervention approach plays a pivotal role in setting children up for a more successful academic career. This aligns perfectly with my own values and aspirations, and I am eager to contribute to this important cause.

HOMETOWN: Uvalde, TX

EDUCATION: 
Seton Hall University, Class of 2023

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK: Corduroy 





faq

How can I volunteer during COVID-19?

Yes, you can volunteer during COVID-19! With daycares and preschools closed, families in lower income neighborhoods need the tools to teach their children to read at home more than ever before. Volunteer at home OR organize a Zoom call to make packets with friends, club members, or family while socializing. Hundreds of new volunteers who have created packets during this crisis!

How do I sign up to Volunteer?

Click here and provide us with your information. We will send you an email with all the information you need.

Where do I have to live to volunteer?

Anywhere!

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

Any age can help as long as you can write the capital letters of the alphabet clearly so a preschooler can read them. We have had volunteers from elementary school to senior citizens.

How long do I need to volunteer?

One hour! In just one hour you can help several children in need learn to read.

Can I participate if I don’t have access to a printer?

Yes, just let us know

How can I recycle or reuse my dried up markers?

We want to do our part to help the environment. We encourage you to recycle or reuse your dried markers. Email us pictures of your efforts: info@lovelettersliteracy.org so we can feature you on our website.

  • Recycle the markers with TerraCycle (it’s totally FREE—so cool!): 
    1. Find the right program: If you live in the United States, click here. If in Canada, click here . Check the TerraCycle website for other countries that have drop off sites. 
    2. Download the free prepaid shipping label.
    3. Send the markers to TerraCycle! 
  • String marker caps together into colorful bracelets. If you want to donate them to children, please let us know! 
  • Dip the tip of the marker in water and use it as watercolor style paint. 
What supplies do I need?

All you need are markers and paper! Most people already have what they need in their home! The paper can be index cards, card stock, construction paper, even printer paper can work. While it may help to have scissors, paper clips/rubber bands/ or plastic bags …these are not required.

Where do the completed packets go?

All over to communities in need! Some volunteers provide them to local preschools in need while others mail them to organizations that serve at risk children who have requested them. 

Can the games be translated into different languages?

Yes! They have already been translated into many languages. Just tell what you need and we can make it happen.

Can I do this alone or in a group?

Both! We have many groups, families and individuals who volunteer!

Can I volunteer more than once?

Yes! We have many volunteers who help us all year long. 

 

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