And our reader’s have done it again and I cannot thank you all enough. Together we have begun a library for a school in need. Book by book and box by box… the books have been pouring in. We cannot thank you enough for making a difference… Here are the smiling little faces of the pre-primary class.
It all began on World Book Giving Day, when we introduced our “Building a Library Book by Book” project. Half way into our project Niki Daly stepped in and encouraged us to keep at it, and I am so thrilled that we did. Yesterday, with the help of a friend, we were able to drop off a heap of books, just enough to get a library started.
This is the School
And this is the playground that serves about a thousand kids every single day.
And here are the kids… typical, happy smiling, “take my photo please” kids….
And this is their building project.
And they don’t have a library at all right now, but here is their potential media centre and library. The head teacher and vice, are so incredibly driven and ready to work for their children to get them the books that they need and provide them and their parents with the literary skills to make a difference. It has been an absolute pleasure working with them throughout the project – even when I send seemingly strange questions to them, in order to bring their school to our readers, they have always got back to me timeously, and that in itself is a huge achievement. It isn’t easy, their resources are few and the children are many. You would think that as an inner city school this would be one of our easiest libraries to get started… but actually they are living on an island, where their internet cable is stolen every time they replace it and communication is really difficult, close to impossible.
The Book Bus
Ironically we arrived on library day, and this is the community library that serves the whole region. Many schools and community centres are visited by this book bus, otherwise they would have no access to any library facilities at all. Children’s books on the left, adults on the right. At first glance it looks wonderful, but to serve a thousand children in this one school, let alone the surrounding schools. There is definitely not even a book per child each week.
We went on from our look at the book bus to tour the school and meet the most important people here… the kids. These are the youngsters that you have bought books for. Classroom after classroom of characters… I can see huge personalities seated at those desks. Little folk who are so excited about school and learning. They were so well-behaved and thrilled to show us their work… and so many of them said math was their favourite subject!
My kids were intrigued, they have never ventured into a classroom before… and it is quite different to their own school around the kitchen table and a garden to play in and explore.
I never thought I would be on the receiving end of a “Good Morning, Miss”… but I was so happy to be there…
This little one really wanted to show us his school supplies and these two below were part of a class that sang us a song… “Smile, smile, smile…” actions and all.
I tell you the truth the teachers in this school are doing an incredible work… their facilities are so few and yet they are persevering on and these children have a love for learning that is hard to find in even many of the wealthiest schools the world over.
Piles of Books
Eventually there was no room under my desk and it was time to load up the boxes of books that had been accumulating there…
A massive thank you to all our readers for heaps and heaps of books that have been donated… we cannot thank you enough…
Huge thank you to PanMacMillan South Africa for donating a box of books, filled with library essentials… posters and bunting and all sorts of goodies.
Thank you to Penguin Random House, South Africa… for their box of chapter books… a lot of children are going to be pleased to see those.
And a massive thank you to The Reader’s Warehouse, who supplied a huge box of books, packed with fabulous reads for all ages and stages.
You Can Still Help
If you planned to send books, but haven’t yet… please please send them on, if ever a school needed books to launch their library… if ever a group of children needed books to follow their dreams… this is the one.
Step 1: Select a Book or Books
- You can search through your books for gently used books that your children have outgrown or no longer love.
- You can buy a book or two with your children and package them up.
- You can shop at Amazon and ship directly.
- And you can shop on-line, locally at Loot, and ship directly as well.
While all the students do learn English, many of the learners have Afrikaans as their first language. English books are very welcome, so are books in Afrikaans. Any books will be great, story books, picture books, craft books, cook books, reference books… really any books. There is a large community being served here. If you are shopping overseas and would like to buy local language books then click on the South African vendor to find books and they will deliver locally for you.
Step 3: Let us Know All About the Books You Chose
We would love if you could photograph the books you are sending, if you shop on-line then just send us a list of the books that you ordered. If you have a blog and write about it then let us know and we will have a Progress Post each week. I will pop the photo’s you send into the blog post and if you do have a blog there will be a chance for you to link up as well.
We are excited about this project and we really hope that our readers seize the day and join us. It doesn’t have to be huge, if even one percent of our readers pop a book into an envelope and post it off, we will have a library. So here’s to hoping that we hear from you all really soon. Leave a comment saying you would like to join us, contact us… Please share this post… whatever you need to do… we would so love to hear from you.
If you have contacted us and had no reply, please try again, one or two of the email addresses I received kept bouncing back… Please email again… there could well be a little glitch.
We know that a project with a deadline often works better so could we aim to get our books in the mail around mid-March. That gives you a week or two… to get mailing!!!
We would like to thank Niki Daly, International Book Giving Day for their enthusiastic support and Biblionef South Africa, for helping us to find a community in our area that needs a library, over the years they have provided us with unprecedented support in helping us to pursue our dream to provide books for children just like ours, who otherwise wouldn’t have access to books.