Adora: The Activist
Adora believes that everyone deserves the opportunity that comes with literacy and a good education. To this end, she has campaigned for literacy and a love of learning around the world; she speaks frequently at educational conferences. At the BOOST Collaborative afterschool conference in Palm Springs, she donated half of the proceeds of her book sales to the BOOST scholarship, helping afterschool providers attend the educational conference. Adora's advocacy extends to youth; she speaks regularly on the topic of what adults can learn from kids, and student leadership.
She also focuses on the basic human rights all of us deserve. She is a youth representative for the United Nations' World Food Programme, spreading the word about their mission to fight hunger worldwide; she raises awareness about the Freerice website, which asks its visitors to answer questions--in return for each correct answer, the site's sponsors will donate ten grains of rice to the hungry.
Adora also Trick-or-Treats for UNICEF every year, fundraises for various charitable causes, and partners with non-profits. Her causes--literacy, learning, youth leadership, and world hunger--continue to shape her work.
An avid reader and writer, Adora believes strongly in the importance of literacy. “When you can read and write, you have access to the world through books, magazines, newspapers, online resources—there are tons of places where you can find ways to learn. An illiterate person has none of that.” To spread her message, Adora has spoken at such places as the National Convention for Family Literacy and the Wisconsin State Reading Association, presenting alongside such figures as James Earl Jones and double-Newbery winner Lois Lowry.
“An uneducated world is a dangerous world,” according to Adora Svitak. Education, she says, provides bridges of understanding between diverse cultures and countries so that fewer international conflicts occur. When people misunderstand each other due to lack of education about different beliefs, they are more likely to come to blows. At the same time, uninformed and uneducated people are easier to brainwash and persuade. This makes them susceptible to recruiting efforts by radical groups. We have seen evidence of this in both the past from hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan and in the present from terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda. Especially in urban environments, uneducated young people are more likely to turn to crime. By teaching every day and spreading her message of lifelong learning, Adora works toward a future where every person will have the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions.
As a frequent user of technology, Adora believes strongly in using 21st Century methods to engage kids in the classroom—without sacrificing the substantiality of many traditional classroom lessons. In her presentations, she skillfully blends new technology with conventional concepts to create engaging presentations. She actively uses new technologies, like blogging, Activboards, and distance learning, to make her programs fun and exciting. By using technology in her own teaching and teaching professional development sessions to teachers on how to use technology in the classroom, Adora advocates educational technology use. At the same time, she realizes that many schools do not have access to new technologies. She hopes for more socioeconomic equality in the public education system, so that the digital divide between the haves and have nots will be bridged. Adora knows that technology can be hugely valuable to help impoverished people better themselves, and hopes that computers with internet access will become widely available in developing countries.
Welfare of Children
Every year, Adora proudly Trick-or-Treats for UNICEF, often matching collected amounts with her own money. Proceeds of the Chinese version of her first book, Flying Fingers, are donated to a Tibetan orphanage to support children there. When presenting at the real estate company Keller William’s event in Las Vegas, she donated the proceeds of books sold there to the company’s philanthropic foundation, KWCares. In Vietnam, she raised 5000 dollars from one copy of Flying Fingers alone and 30,000 US dollars total to fund new materials for schools devastated by flooding there.
Adora believes that empowering girls across the world and giving them the opportunities to learn and flourish will pave the path for a successful 21st Century. She works toward a world in which females are treated equally in all fields, and creates strong female characters in her stories to positively influence the way young women think about themselves.