Download "Make Your Mark" to Support Youth Literacy with, Open Books and Chicago Tribune

Proceeds from song downloads support Open Books, Chicago Tribune Foundation to provide up to $2,500 match

Sep 01, 2011, 16:02 ET from Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO, Sept. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In a city where 53 percent of adults have low-to-limited literacy skills and a student with poor reading skills is five times more likely to drop out of high school, creative tween website, Open Books and Chicago Tribune have joined forces to address youth and teen literacy in Chicago.

The "Make Your Mark" on Literacy Fundraising Campaign, which takes its name from a song created by for the flash mob staged this summer at the Chicago Tribune's annual Printer's Row Lit Fest, will raise funds from downloads of the song to support the youth and teen literacy programs at Open Books. "Creative kids are passionate about social issues, and literacy is an issue that affects us all," stated founder and Executive Producer Jason Brett.  "That's why has decided to contribute 100 percent of all proceeds from downloads of "Make Your Mark" to support the important work being done by Open Books."  

The Chicago Tribune Foundation will generously provide a match of up to $2,500 to support this initiative.  "The Chicago Tribune is committed to strengthening today's youth and families," said Kathleen O'Hara, Vice President of Marketing at Chicago Tribune Media Group. "When our youth climb higher, we are all lifted. Participating in the "Make Your Mark" on Literacy Fundraising Campaign is a great opportunity for us to provide support of literacy and education, the building blocks of a brighter future. We are delighted to be a part of such a meaningful campaign."

"Make Your Mark," written by synth-pop band Stepdad and, features renowned Chicago poet and performer Squair Blaq, with backing vocals provided by middle school members of the community.  "This is such a perfect vehicle to energize young people about literacy," added Becca Keaty, Director of External Relations for Open Books.  "With lyrics that use classic book titles and famous authors, it's a very clever way to encourage listeners to read.  We're very appreciative of for their support."

Downloads of the "Make Your Mark" song cost $0.99 each and can be found by clicking the "Make Your Mark" link at or by visiting the online store directly. The campaign runs through September, corresponding with National Literacy Month.

A series of public service announcements to support the "Make Your Mark" on Literacy Fundraising Campaign will air on WGN-AM. "Our hope is that this PSA campaign will catch the public's attention and focus it on this important social issue, and the great work being done by Open Books and the Chicago Tribune to promote literacy," concluded Brett.

Company Information: Big Things, Inc. is a new digital media company developing Internet communities and live events for niche populations. is the first branded community from Big Things, Inc.  Exclusively for middle school kids passionate about the entertainment arts, provides a safe environment for kids to share their creative interests in film, music, animation, comedy, performance, and writing and receive invaluable insight from professionals and celebrities.  Then once a month, the best community content is featured on Jam the Machine, a half-hour comedy, music, and variety mash up, webcasted on  For more information, visit

Open Books is a nonprofit social venture that operates an extraordinary bookstore, provides community programs, and mobilizes passionate volunteers to promote literacy in Chicago and beyond.  For more information, visit

Chicago Tribune Media Group is a media and business services company that publishes the Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune.  CTMG also produces related print and interactive media serving Chicagoland like RedEye, Hoy, Chicago Magazine, TribLocal, TheMash, Naperville Magazine,, and Reaching 4.8 million adults each week in the greater Chicago area, CTMG is the leading news and information destination in Chicagoland.

SOURCE Chicago Tribune