6 - 10 pm, Saturday, November 21--  Hangar 30 in Magnuson Park--  6310 NE 74th Street--  Seattle, WA 98115

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The fifth annual OPEN HEARTS BIG DREAMS Seattle 2015 event allows Ethiopia Reads to do even more for the 130,000 children it serves in Ethiopia annually. This beautiful evening will be a lively celebration of the cuisine, music, art, and poetry of Ethiopia, featuring silent and live auctions, a wine wall, and a raffle.  The OHBD event is an opportunity to learn more about Ethiopia Reads and support the organization.

In 2011, Ellenore and Michael Angelidis first hosted Open Hearts Big Dreams as a way to connect their love of reading with their love of their daughter, Leyla, and their commitment to her country of birth, Ethiopia. The $45,000 raised that year supported several programs in Ethiopia, including a kindergarten for brave and struggling families in the Merkato area of Addis Ababa.

In 2012, thanks to the amazing Seattle community, led by the Angelidis family, over $75,000 supported programs including the planting of a school library in every region of Ethiopia and the building of two learning centers in the rural area of Kembata Tembaro where many children have no access to school.

In 2013, our third event raised over $98K and supported Ethiopia Reads inspiring work including opening two learning centers in the Kembata-Tembaro region; initiating a new horse mobile library project to reach rural children and helping teenage girl runners become tutors.

In 2014, the fourth annual event was yet another success, bringing in over $105K to support the Ethiopia Reads education and literacy programs in southern Ethiopia as well as doubling the reach of the Horse Powered Library into rural areas.

All proceeds will support Ethiopia Reads 2016 priorities, including:

  • Supporting Book-Centered professional development to help Ethiopian teachers gain new skills
  • Developing a new mobile literacy project that provides training, mentoring and programming to existing libraries and reading rooms in the densely populated and under-resourced Merkato area of Addis Ababa.
  • Creating new children's and community libraries in Soramba, Wukro and Gondar which will provide local language books, a trained librarian and community building initiatives to expand literacy.
  • Expanding our innovative Horse-Powered Literacy program which brings the wonder of reading and storytelling to rural children, many of whom have never held a book before.
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Volunteer Spotlight

JANE KURTZ - Born in Portland, Oregon, Jane's parents decided to move to Ethiopia when she was two years old.  Spending most of her childhood abroad, Jane didn't live in the United States for more than a couple of year-long visits before she started college.

Now, as a children's writer, her many books set in Ethiopia have helped give audiences a glimpse into the land of her childhood.  Jane speaks about being an author at schools and conferences--in places like Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, France, Germany, Romania, England, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Japan. Her travels have put her in touch with all kinds of kids who are changing the world and she helped found Ethiopia Reads in 1998.

Visit Jane's blog here:

Yadesa Bojia - Born in small town near the capital city of Ethiopia called Ambo, Yadesa studied in Ethiopia until he graduated from Commercial College and in 1995 he moved to the US.  He settled in Seattle where he went on to earn degrees in Visual Communication and Graphic Design.

Today, Yadesa works as a graphic designer and professional painter, inspired by both African and Western art.  Stemming from his childhood in Ethiopia, he draws inspiration from murals and line drawings filled with bold vibrant colors that beautifully communicate religious history and culture to their audiences.  With a deeply multicultural background, Yadesa’s art uniquely combines elements of justice, equality and truth in his paintings and designs.

Visit Yadesa's website here:

Ethiopia Reads’ vision is to empower and strengthen communities through the art of learning and the science of teaching. We believe that providing quality schools, books and learning initiatives that engage both the creative and logical mind will lead to a more resourceful generation of leaders in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia Reads collaborates with Ethiopian communities to build schools, plant libraries, teach teachers, boost literacy, put pencils and paintbrushes into the hands of thousands of children, and provide youth and families with the tools to improve their lives.

In the past ten years, we have planted more than 65 libraries for children, developed successful kindergarten and after-school tutoring programs, built five schools in rural areas, and provided professional development in literacy practices for hundreds of Ethiopian educators. Now we are working to make sure all of the projects grow big dreams.