Hi, my name is Chadwick Sapenter, and I’m the founder of Little Book of Words. The idea for Little Book of Words came to me at one of the lowest points in my life, but it is incredible how those things that on the surface seem that they will tear you down can be the same things you use to reach your greatest heights. It is through this journey Little Book of Words was born.
In the beginning all I wanted to do was encourage a group of teens who were in foster care that were struggling with confidence, lacked hope, and couldn’t imagine a life outside of the traumatic experiences they had lived. I pleaded with them to have hope, to believe in themselves, but as far as I know my attempt at encouraging them fell on deaf ears. Like them I too had been in foster care and understood those feelings of hopelessness. But unlike them I knew that regardless of where you were from or what you had been through in life that you could accomplish anything.
This was in 2009 and as I spoke with them my current reality was not ideal, I was the co- founder in a once successful real estate company but like many businesses in that industry our ride had come to an end and I had crashed head first into homelessness and poverty. This turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to me, I knew that going forward if I was going to start another company it would have to serve a greater purpose than maximizing profits. So later that night I decided to pen some words of encouragement to the group of teens hoping it would reach them, those words evolved into what became Little Book of Words Every Foster Kid Should Know. Although I had no idea how to publish a book or write one for that matter the responses I received were overwhelmingly positive. Shortly after almost daily I began to get request for similar books in this easy to read and direct format, on different topics for different audiences, and from that moment Little Book of Words Publishing was born.
Up until that moment I had spent most of my adult life prideful, arrogant, and pursuing riches at any cost. For the first time in my life I had to look in the mirror and admit that I was chasing the wind pursuing the things that I hoped would give me fulfillment only to realize that any pleasure I gained was temporary and I was constantly having to hit the reset button. I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with making money or having a profitable business, but what I did believe is that those profits can be used to do something more in the world. As I looked at the many social issues we face as a country the common denominator between them was the lack of basic literacy skills. The more I looked into this the more I realized that this was a solvable problem! Out of this reality our Buy a Book, Give a Book model was born, every time someone buys a book we will give an age appropriate book to a child in need. Doing it this way means it’s sustainable, in order for us to help more people in need we have to create incredible books on topics that people care about and as long as we do this we will always be able to put books in the hands of those who need them most.
I’m not naive solving our literacy crisis is a huge task that will require all of us to do our part but it is one that I believe can be solved.