Kodak has kicked off a month-long initiative of worldwide book donation drives to improve literacy throughout the world as part of its Print for Good campaign.
At an event in Kodak’s Rochester headquarters on the occasion of Kodak founder George Eastman’s 163rd birthday, Kodak asked for donations for local literacy programmes and is encouraging its partners, subsidiaries and printers around the world to do the same.
Print for Good was launched at Drupa and is aimed at supporting communities through America and EMEA with book drives, book donations and the printing of materials and supplies.
Kodak Print Systems Division senior vice-president Brad Kruchten said that the programme has ramped up in the second half of this year and that there have now been 10 “activations” around the world, similar initiatives to that taking place in Rochester.
“When we launched we were able to sit down with printers across the globe and it really resonated with them,” said Kruchten.
“We really believe the print industry is embracing the whole concept of ‘Print can make a positive impact on the world’, there’s no downside. This is true for the industry, whether it’s from a literacy standpoint, socio-economic or driving awareness.
“With literacy we know that the number of problems that are created due to illiteracy – hunger, violence, addiction, unemployment – are all directly correlated and that people who are afflicted with those have the lowest literacy rates.”
“Activations” around the world include an upcoming Kodak employee book donation event in Watford featuring children’s illustrator Ben Cort, a run of booklets in Israel that were distributed during the Passover holiday and the supply of 5,000 school notebooks to support a tribal region on the outskirts of Mumbai.
Kelly Mandarano, vice president of Kodak Print Systems Division’s marketing and communications team, said that she was currently in talks to provide literature to a network of orphanages in Haiti, and is also looking to do something in Spain in the near future. She said “activations” are being timed around the world to tie in with the back-to-school season.
UNESCO estimates around 776 million adults in the world to be illiterate, with approximately two thirds of that figure being women. The cost of illiteracy to the global economy is said to be around $1.2tn (£1tn).