New children's book strives to overturn illiteracy statistics in the U.S.

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKWB) - Five years after the tragic death of her cousin, Dawn Hochsprung, the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Melanie Bunch is still sharing her legacy - through the power of books. 

"Dawn was known for many things" Bunch said, “but what I’m sure people remember most the passion she had for her students and for reading, which is part of the reason why I decided to write this book.”

The idea for, The Book Fairy started back in 2015 in a hotel room. 

“When I realized just how serious the illiteracy epidemic was here in this country, I just wanted to get back to the basics. I wanted to get families back in libraries, kids back to reading - I wanted to make it fun and enjoyable, like Dawn did for so many people,” Bunch shared. 

It’s the story of Lily The Book Fairy and her pals, Storyteller Sam, who encourages her to read and read until her light twinkles and then of course Molly McMonster who, at first, fails to see the power books carry.

“This isn’t just about one character or one book, I designed my company as as a series. I wrote the first book with the idea of getting little girls excited about reading again. My hope is, once we get enough support to get this book printed and Lily manufactured, we can share it with schools and the community."

As fleshed out as Bunch's ideas are, getting to the finish line is something that requires a great level of support - support from the community and others.

“It’s a big task. But one I think we owe to our young people to find a way to meet," Bunch said.

With a good portion of her own funds contributed to the effort, a majority of funding is being raised on the kickstarter platform, Indiegogo.

To date, Bunch and her team have met 17% of their goal - $82,000. 

“I believe in people and I believe in the power of reading and the legacy my cousin left behind,” Bunch emphasized.

The ultimate goal? To not only have Lily in people's homes, but delivering books to schools as well.

The company is designed with a built-in Giveback Program. Proceeds from book sales will go to support literary outreach programs throughout the community. 

For more on how you can contribute, visit The Book Fairy’s kickstarter page

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