Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lady with a beard

This article was written in Summer '07 and is awesome, but I can't help but laugh that the author kept refering to Ward as a lady. I'm not sure if it was an editing mistake or not:

"Standing next to their Mo'Book Mo'Bike Mobile, ard Tefft and Shelley Briggs, co-founders of Books on Wheels, hope to bring information about literature and transportation to communities across the U.S.
Books and bikes? While it may seem like an unlikely combination, two activists in a '70s style mini-bus are taking their cause national.
The multi-colored bus that houses Books on Wheels was on Penn's campus last Sunday at Saint Mary's Episcopal Church for a community event called Bike Church.
Books on Wheels is a non-profit organization that distributes books and bicycle parts throughout the country at community events free of charge. The mission of the organization is to increase literacy and access to transportation in economically disadvantaged communities.
Books on Wheels was founded by Ward Tefft, owner of Chop Suey Books and Shelley Briggs, co-founder of Spokes, an organization that specializes in bicycle repair. Together, they combined their specialties to plan two East Coast tours.
"Our goal is to hand out as many books as we can to spread literacy, give people access to good literature and knowledge about repairing bikes," Tefft says.
Venues for Books on Wheels include cafes, recreation centers, after school programs, churches and festivals in cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond, Va., Rochester, N.Y., Chicago and Worcester, Mass. Among the most memorable events for Tefft and Briggs was their excursion to Baltimore in early July.
"Baltimore CSAFE rec center was one of the most rewarding experiences for me. It was a cookout and small bock party over there. They helped us do two bike events where we repaired around 20 to 30 bikes," Tefft said.
Philadelphia events have also been well-noted by Tefft and Briggs.
"Going to Philadelphia is great. This [Bike Church] is one of the biggest bike projects we've been to. A lot of people show up and everything is so well organized," said Briggs.
However, this organization was not always the large-scale, national project that it is today. Books on Wheels took a grassroots approach - starting in Richmond and eventually branching out to surrounding areas.
"We really had no expectations in starting this project. And the overall experience has just been amazing to me and more that we ever expected. It's overwhelming how many people came out and supported us," said Tefft.
Tefft added that she finds the whole venture personally rewarding.
"From this, I have learned how needed this is," she said. "It's been really helpful for many people. We hope to inspire other people to do projects like this."

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