Denver Zoo Partners with Unite for Literacy to Publish Wildlife Conservation E-Books for Children

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Picture Books Educate Zoo’s Local and Global Communities on Conservation While Fostering a Love of Reading

Denver Zoo’s Vice President for Education & Volunteer Services, Dana Murphy, reads to children in Botswana.

'The books will educate families on our wildlife conservation work in Botswana and at the same time, support Botswana’s goal of being a literate nation by 2016,' says book series author Molly Maloy.

To support its mission of securing a better world for animals through human understanding, the Denver Zoo announced it is publishing a series of free online, culturally relevant picture books for children with Unite for Literacy, a Fort Collins-based social enterprise that unites people to support global literacy. The books will further educate families about the Zoo through engaging stories about its animals, its staff and about key focus areas for the Zoo, specifically conservation.

The Denver Zoo books will be written in English and narrated in 10 languages, such as Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese, that are spoken in homes across the United States and the world. They are designed to meet the early literacy needs of young emergent readers and to help them grow into lifelong readers.

Central to the initial eight- to 10-book series will be stories around Denver Zoo’s community-based wildlife conservation work in Botswana’s Central Kalahari region, which focuses on developing positive attitudes and behaviors surrounding Botswana’s wildlife. Setswana, the language of Botswana, will also be a narrated language available with the books.    

“This project and this partnership will truly fulfill Denver Zoo’s mission by connecting our work with the communities we serve,” said Molly Maloy, Denver Zoo’s Teacher Professional Development Programs Coordinator and book series author. “By using books and literacy as a vehicle for conservation, Denver Zoo will be able to develop a connection in their conservation work that not only will engage children and families about the topic of wildlife, but it will provide a greater resource of valuable information about Botswana's ecology, wildlife and culture that are very much lacking in their libraries and schools. The books will educate families on our wildlife conservation work in Botswana and at the same time, support Botswana’s goal of being a literate nation by 2016. This is a one-of-a-kind project that we are proud to be a part of.”

“We are very happy to provide the publishing services, literacy know-how and technology platform that will enable global sharing of the Denver Zoo’s ground-breaking books,” said Mike McGuffee, founder and chief executive officer of Unite for Literacy. “We are all successful when we can help organizations like the Zoo expand the visitor experience, increase global knowledge around their key initiatives and advance literacy in the communities they serve.”

Print copies of the new Denver Zoo books will be available to guests attending the annual Boo At The Zoo After Dark event on Friday, October 25. They will also be shared on Facebook and available to everyone for at no cost, forever through Unite for Literacy’s Wondrously Infinite Global Library at

About Denver Zoo
Denver Zoo’s mission is to secure a better world for animals through human understanding. Denver Zoo is home to 3,600 animals representing more than 600 species and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA accreditation assures the highest standards of animal care. Since 1996, Denver Zoo has participated in 594 conservation projects in 62 countries on all seven continents. In 2012 alone, Denver Zoo participated in 98 projects in 18 countries and more than $1 million in funds was spent by the zoo in support of animal conservation in the field. A leader in environmental action, Denver Zoo is dedicated to ensuring the safety of the environment in support of all species and is the first U.S. zoo to receive ISO 14001 certification for the entire facility and operations. This international certification ensures the zoo is attaining the highest environmental standards.

About Unite for Literacy
Unite for Literacy is a Fort Collins-based social enterprise that unites people to support global literacy. The company provides a platform where foundations, corporations and non-profits can work together to create picture book abundance and universal access for emerging readers everywhere, for free, forever. More than 100 free digital books in 15 languages are available in its Wondrously Infinite Global Library, which was created to provide a simple, effective remedy for one of the fundamental challenges facing literacy today: universal access to relevant books in every home.

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Tiffany Barnhart:
Denver Zoo
(720) 337-1444
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Sean Andersen-Vie
Denver Zoo
(720) 337-1418
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