McKinley Tretler is communications manager at Malala Fund. She works to develop and execute Malala Fund’s messaging and media strategies.
In efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus, schools around the world are closing, forcing half of students out of their classrooms. To support young people in this uncertain time, Malala is sharing ideas to help them continue learning at home.
With the generous support of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Malala is making her memoir, “I Am Malala,” free to download for students in Canada and the U.S. for 24 hours on e-book retail platforms, starting Tuesday, March 24 at 12 a.m. ET. In the book, Malala writes about her journey finding her voice and leading the global fight for girls’ education. You can find links to download the e-book here.
“Little, Brown Books for Young Readers’ mission to publish diverse, thought-provoking books and to inspire a lifelong love of reading and learning has never been more important as we face a global pandemic that has rapidly transformed our lives,” said Megan Tingley, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. “As schools and libraries are forced to close their doors and educators are working on new ways to reach students and their parents, we are pleased to provide free access to the e-book version of ‘I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World’ for the next 24 hours in partnership with Malala Fund. We are so proud to be Malala Yousafzai’s publisher and to help her spread her mission for universal education at this crucial time.”
To support students affected by the school closures, Malala first took to her Instagram Stories with a message for her peers around the world: “Like a lot of you, I’m staying home these days — avoiding crowds and washing my hands. If you’re out of school, I know how hard it is. You will be missing your friends and your lessons and will be wondering what might happen next.”
Malala then asked students to direct-message her videos of the productive ways they're spending their time at home and posted their ideas on her Instagram Stories. One teen shared that he’s writing letters to people he admires, like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Another explained that she’s watching online tutorials to learn how to paint. Other students are caring for kittens, making doughnuts, singing or studying for their online courses.
22-year-old student and first-ever U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman shared tips for writing poetry and read an excerpt from her recent work, “In This Place, An American Lyric.” Actor Beanie Feldstein, the star of “Booksmart,” sent a video showing how she’s enjoying playing cards with her mom.
In the upcoming weeks, Malala Fund will continue to publish content for students at home. Young women and experts will teach our supporters new skills and suggest activities they can try at home. We’ll also publish research on the impact of pandemics on girls’ education.