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Long ago, forests covered much of the world. They provided shelter and protection, food and resources, and held together complex ecosystems from the soil to the weather. But as people stopped moving from place to place and began to clear away trees to plant crops, the landscape began to change. The soil began to wash away and what was once lush and green became dry and dusty. Like many countries, Ethiopia has suffered widespread deforestation. In response, Ethiopia initiated a country-wide reforestation program called the "Green Legacy" that culminated in the planting of over 350 million trees in 2019, a world record. This tremendous effort, consisting of indigenous and fruit-bearing trees, may help regrow the lush forests that once covered much of East Africa. Environmental restoration on this scale has the potential to not only improve the local ecosystems, but may impact the climate of the entire region. Trees strengthen the topsoil, increase the amount of oxygen and provide protection and habitats for wildlife. They are some of the oldest living things on earth, and we honor them with lush watercolors by art students at Clark College in our look at the vital role trees play in the lives of all living creatures. Side by side text in English and Ethiopian languages like Amharic, Tigrinya and Afaan Oromo support bilingual readers in developing vocabulary and fluency. Ready Set Go Books, an Open Hearts Big Dreams Project, is focused on increasing the literacy rate in Ethiopia through giving readers books with stories in their heart languages, full of colorful illustrations with Ethiopian settings and details. Profits from book sales are used to create, print, and distribute more Ready Set Go Books to kids in Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous country. Ethiopia's population is 44% children, ages 0-14 (43 million out of 97 million total). Only 5.5% of children attend pre-school or kindergarten, and the adult literacy rate is 49%. Our books are based on wise Ethiopian sayings that often rhyme in Amharic. If an adult says the first half, many children can chant the second half. Sometimes the meaning of these sayings is clear. Sometimes it has to be puzzled out and argued over. But sayings and idioms and proverbs help people express truths and beliefs in unusual ways. Since late 2017, OHBD has published over 100 unique #ReadySetGo dual language titles in three Ethiopian languages plus English and has plans to publish another 100 titles and add more languages in the coming years. New titles and/or languages are added monthly; follow our author page to get new release announcements. Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund (OHBD) is a 501(3)(c) not for profit organization that believes the chance to dream big dreams should not depend on where in the world you are born. Our mission is to inspire and enable youth in Ethiopia through READY SET GO books, STEM and Innovation Projects in collaboration with individuals and organizations providing literacy, education, and leadership opportunities.
November 28, 2020
5.51 X 8.5 X 0.09 inches | 0.15 pounds
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