Literacy Non-Profit To Petition CSAC
|Sunday, September 24, 2005 Filed: 12:15 AM
EDT (04:15 GMT)
John Cropper, VSC Staff Reporter
LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY -- Thirty-nine years after
the launch of a global literacy project that has provided over five
million books free of charge to institutions in over one hundred
countries, supporters hope they can persuade the Citizens Stamp Advisory
Committee to issue a commemorative postage stamp for its founder in time
for her hundredth birthday in 2010.
Lynda Jeffries (left), Executive Director for the
International Book Project presents her philatelic proposal to Lexington's
Henry Clay Philatelic Society. (right) HCPS President Wayne A.
|The International Book Project, headquartered
in Lexington, Kentucky was founded by Harriet Drury Van Meter in 1966, a
life-long advocate of literacy, after a trip abroad opened her eyes to the
lack of affordable textbooks in developing countries.
She began the task
of matching donors of books with schools and libraries in developing
countries, out of her home at first, using the Post Office Department as
her sole means of shipping books to then-little-known areas of Eastern
Europe, Asia and Africa. That effort has grown into a federally-registered
501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization that has shipped millions of books
to destinations where they are most needed, both domestic and abroad.
|Mrs. Van Meter was a 1986
finalist for the Nobel Peace Prize and was awarded the Kiwanis
International World Services Medal in 1989.
On Friday, September twenty-third, IBP hosted a Passport to Literacy
presentation, which featured readings by local authors and served as the
launching point for their online petition, located at
http://www.internationalbookproject.org/stamp.php as part of their
effort to persuade the CSAC to issue a commemorative stamp for Mrs. Van
Meter. The Henry Clay Philatelic Society of Lexington provided technical
support at the presentation, including answering questions about the stamp
collecting, the stamp selection process and the USPS.
Lexington's Henry Clay Philatelic Society has also pledged ongoing
support for the project in the form of a six-member volunteer committee to
assist IBP in its effort. This committee includes current club
Vice-President Mike Strother, secretary Linda Lawrence, as well as
long-time members Dale Farabee, Paul Hager, Don Sproule and Marvin
Robinson. Robinson is a retired letter-carrier who is familiar with the
process of getting a stamp issued; his efforts three decades prior
eventually led the issuance of the Fort Harrod stamp in 1974.
The IBP has no illusions about the possibilities of successfully
getting a commemorative stamp for Mrs. Van Meter. The fifteen-member CSAC
receives a deluge of suggestions from Americans from all walks of life, up
to fifty THOUSAND every year! From this wide field, only about two dozen
subjects are honored, based in part on a balance of educational, popular
and artistic appeal. The IBP is hopeful that Mrs. Van Meter's tireless
work, coupled with a large response on their petition will appeal to the
CSAC's judgment and the 2010 USPS Stamp Program will include a
commemorative for a woman who helped to bring literacy to the world.
|For more on the International
Book Project and its work, please consult
The Henry Clay Philatelic
Society's web site is located at
Additional information about
this and other U.S. stamps can be found on the USPS web site, located at
www.usps.com. For more information, or
to find a local stamp club near you, visit the American Philatelic
Society's web site at www.stamps.org.
Free stamp collecting information is available from The Virtual Stamp Club
Virtual Stamp Club Home Page