Celebrating 1 million books!
A virtual party

Last night the Book Dash community celebrated a momentous milestone for our organisation: on 20 November the 1 millionth copy of a Book Dash book was given to a child, and we threw a virtual party to mark it.

More than 100 guests from all over the world joined the event, which was live-streamed from the Book Dash offices in Cape Town. The team had asked some supporters like donors, creatives, partners and superfans to send in video messages before the event, and it was lovely to watch those together.

The Founders of Book Dash, streaming in live from their homes, told the story of the conception, birth and growth of Book Dash, and we watched a video condensing our 6-year journey into a 5-minute good-news story. You can watch the video here.

Looking back

The first book ever published by Book Dash in 2014 is a funny story called Sleepy Mr Sloth. Our Book Dash book-creation events always end with storytime, where teams share the new books they created. Last night we kept the tradition alive, and ended our celebration with Aidan, the 8-year old son of Arthur and Michelle (two of the Book Dash founders) reading Sleepy Mr Sloth.

The 1 millionth book

Staying with 8-year old boys: another 8-year old boy was the recipient of the 1 millionth Book Dash book. Iyanda lives in KZN, and he received two Book Dash books in his Santa Shoebox, one with a sparkly golden sticker on it!  This year, MySchoolMyVillageMyPlanet funded the printing of 100,000 Book Dash books to be included in 2020's Santa Shoeboxes.

This is a picture of Iyanda, with the 1 millionth book - which happened to be packed in the 1 millionth Santa Shoebox given to children. What are the chances of two partner organisations (Book Dash and Santa Shoebox) both reaching their 1 million milestones at the same time?

Looking forward

Our vision is for each child to own one hundred books by the age of five. There are about 6 million children aged 5 and under in South Africa, which means that for us to achieve our vision, we have to distribute many more millions of books, and keep on doing this forever and ever.

We are up for the challenge, especially with supporters like you. But last night we paused to raise a glass to everyone who helped us achieve the first one million books. Thank you for all your support, and please do stick around for all the new chapters in our story.

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