Yesterday Kodak employees celebrated their founder, George Eastman, on his 163rd birthday with an event supporting his philosophy and philanthropy through the company’s Print for Good program. This global initiative supports communities throughout America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East with book drives, book donations, and the printing of materials and supplies in an effort to increase literacy worldwide through print.
The Rochester event is part of a month-long book drive where Kodak employees and Eastman Business Park tenants have been asked to donate new or gently used books in support of local literacy programs focused on high-needs neighborhoods and schools. This year’s contributions will be donated to the Urban League of Rochester and the Scott Spino Foundation.
Kodak’s Print for Good initiative is an overall effort to drive the print industry in a socially conscious and environmentally friendly way, including the development and use of more sustainable print processes.
“Print for Good is about ensuring that print is around for the long term, that it’s driving value, and that it’s doing good in the world,” said Brad Kruchten, President – Print Systems Division and SVP, Kodak. “Literacy is a venue for us to talk about the value of print in a very tangible way, while partnering with some of our most important printers to address this huge issue across the globe.”
“In middle-class communities, there is an estimated 15 books per child. However, in underdeveloped or impoverished areas, there’s only about one book per 300 children,” Kruchten adds. “An investment in literacy is an investment in the future; and every dollar that’s spent on adult literacy provides society with a return of $7.14, enabling individuals to help themselves, their families and their communities. We feel that print is and will continue to be a critical piece of that solution.”
This latest event in Kodak’s Print for Good campaign follows several activations that have occurred worldwide, including:
• Houston, TX – Kodak partnered with its customer DiscPro to host a book drive. In addition, Kodak purchased and donated books by Tad Carpenter (host of Kodak’s Press On video series and children’s book author) to benefit high-needs Houston schools and communities, as well as an orphanage in Guadalajara, Mexico.
• Tel Aviv, Israel – Kodak partnered with a local printer, Emanuel Print, to publish over 1,000 booklets, donated to La’Sova, a local non-profit providing food for those in need, and added those booklets to food packages distributed during the Passover holiday.
• Dayton, OH – Kodak employees completed a book drive in support of a local organization, Hannah’s Treasure Chest.
• Mumbai, India – Kodak is working with Youth for People to support a tribal region on the outskirts of Mumbai (Mokhada, Palghar) with a supply of 5,000 school notebooks printed by Kodak’s partner Navneet Publications.
• Memphis, TN – Kodak donated 1,000 books authored by Tad Carpenter to the Books from Birth Foundation. This donation will support two local initiatives including the Reach Out and Read Program at Le Bonheur’s Outpatient Center and the LENA Start program.
• Columbus, GA – Kodak is supporting the RiverCenter Readers program. Several activities are planned including a book collection this week with the local Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals group.
• Watford, United Kingdom – Plans are underway for a Kodak employee book donation and a book signing day by best-selling children’s illustrator.
• Vancouver, BC – Kodak team will be hosting a spelling bee and bake sale to raise money to donate to a local organization.
Eastman’s philanthropic spirit is deeply ingrained into the corporate culture at Kodak. The company and its employees have supported local Kodak communities for over a century. Kodak’s aim is to continue this legacy by putting programs into place such as Print for Good designed to help communities build lasting benefits that can be felt by all.