The tendency with public service is to dramatize the problem, because it’s easy (and because it makes for a good awards show entry). It’s why ads to help the homeless show a dumpster and ask to imagine living there. With Literacy Chicago and its Readathon, we could’ve shown illegible street signs to evoke empathy. But we wanted to focus on the solution: an event designed to generate donations via the most obvious and everyday activity — reading. The Readathon encouraged people to solicit donations from family and friends for each word they read during the event period. Didn’t matter if those words were from the Classics or from the back of a cereal box.