African Library Project
We are very excited to announce that Aaron School students and staff will be participating in a school-wide book drive beginning in the last week of January! The book drive will be in partnership with a volunteer organization called the African Library Project. The books we collect will be sent to a community in Malawi to build a library for both children and adults to enjoy. Over the next few months, Aaron School students at 45th Street will be learning about how people in other parts of the world do not have the same access to reading materials as we do in our country, and that there is a need for more literacy opportunities and education in these places. Likewise, we will discuss that our book drive is one way that we, at Aaron School, can help a community in need. Elementary students will be learning more about literacy in different communities during their Library classes and the middle school students will be focusing on these topics during their community service class, Alliance Club. We are hoping to collect 1,000 gently used books! Additionally, in the spring the middle school Alliance Clubs will be running the Aaron School store to raise money to ship the books to Malawi. Please look out for more information about the book drive and the school store in the coming months.
We were very lucky to have a representative from the African Library Project visit Aaron School on Monday, January 23, to talk to students about the process of collecting books and show them images of the community that their donations will be sent to. This representative was the mother of Aaron School’s very own amazing Art teacher, Ms. Dana Helwick!
Here are some facts about Africa and the African Library Project that will be shared with your child along the way:
Did you know…? Most African children grow up without books, while U.S. bookshelves and landfills overflow with books no longer read.
Africa has the highest percentage of illiteracy in the world.
Many African teachers teach reading, writing, math, and English without even a single book to use as a resource.
Many adults in African countries lose their ability to read due to a lack of reading materials.
Books are the key to increasing literacy and literacy is the #1 tool out of poverty.
The African Library Project was founded in 2005 by Chris Bradshaw and her family from Portola Valley, California. During a family vacation visiting remote villages in Lesotho (a small mountainous kingdom in Southern Africa), Chris decided to work towards ending the cycle of poverty and illiteracy. She realized that the simple act of establishing libraries with gently used books would have a profound effect in increasing literacy, and she worked closely with local teachers and community leaders to begin the African Library Project!
The African Library Project has donated over 1.8 million books to complete 1,770 libraries in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Cameroon, Lesotho, Nigeria, Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi, Ghana, South Africa, and Sierra Leone. If you would like more information about the organization and their valuable work, please visit https://www.africanlibraryproject.org.
We are looking forward to working as a school community to have a successful book drive and build a library for children in Malawi! We will be collecting books throughout the spring. Please send in any gently used books to donate to our book drive!