Rock for Reading 2008: A Concert for Literacy

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Rock For Reading (R4R) surely lived up to its name November 22, 2008 at the Concert For Literacy. Not only did co-headliners Steve Earle and Tom Morello, also known as The Nightwatchman, storm the Vic Theatre in Chicago with some righteous rock, but more than $25,000 was raised for reading. Earle sang his songs of love and loss with characteristic emotional intensity, while Morello's anthemic "One Man Revolution," among other pointed numbers, reminded the audience of the historic political event that had recently transpired. There was more than a note of optimism in the air, but these contemporary protest singers also acknowledged the enormous task that lies ahead. There is, in fact, much left to do in the struggle against injustice–and the fight for universal literacy. Still, though the message maybe serious, the messengers sure know how to have a goodtime and their freewheeling energy touched everyone in the room.

Ogden School fifth grader Griffin Lott
has his guitar signed by Tom Morello

Steve Earle, Allison Moorer and Tom Morello seemed larger than life onstage but showed us just how down to earth they are by taking time to hobnob with the R4R faithful. Ogden School fifth grader Griffin Lott, for one, is still pinching himself.

2008 Concert For Literacy sponsors included Hershey's Bliss and the Career Education Corporation. A big thank you was also extended to R4R advisory board member Norm Winer, program director at WXRT (the show was an official 93XRT event), whose heroic efforts cannot be overstated.

About Rock for Reading

Reading is an essential foundation for success in school, competing successfully in the workplace and for dreaming. Lifelong education empowers people to ultimately improve socioeconomic conditions for their families, communities, countries and future generations. Literacy opens doors of opportunity and understanding that no other skill can provide. The ability to read, write and understand stimulates communications that impact every life.

Rock For Reading’s vision is to inspire a community of readers and to create a community of dreamers.

Rock For Reading leverages the power of ROCK to inspire literacy – motivating and empowering people to enrich their lives through reading.

We accomplish our mission by:

  • Raising awareness and resources through a series of musical concerts and benefits
  • Awarding grants to literacy and reading programs at community organizations, libraries and schools
  • Building partnerships and strategic alliances to raise funds in support of organizations championing the cause of literacy
  • Educating our public to promote activism and direct involvement

Learn more at