It is World Book Giving Day today, the day when everyone everywhere is encouraged to give books… to their friends, to strangers… to anyone really. Just the idea of World Book Giving Day is huge. It certainly is one of the biggest days of the year in the life of our blog and our blog community. The great thing about blogging is that you do not blog alone and we have cloud of friends all over the world that have helped us to build libraries over the years. It appears to be totally impossible, who could collect a library of books… on our own it would be impossible, but together as a community and book by book libraries have been gathered together.
Libraries Our Readers Have Created in the Past
- A rural village school in Lesotho.
- A Township School in Stanford.
- And a Community library in Eerste River.
- A library for a School in Need.
- A Primary School Library in Manenburg.
- A Library for a School Without Books.
Last year we managed to create a library for a school with no books and this year… we have a school at the outer edge of Cape Town with well over a thousand students in it. Wouldn’t it be great if we could pack their library full of books… so that there could be at least one book for every student. Our own children are surrounded by books and their lives are so much richer for it. They have shelves full of books for fun, books for school and when they run out of books at home then they can walk less than a kilometre to the nearest community library and take out more books for free. Reading is a way of life, our kids are growing up in a culture of books.
Millions of South African children do not have access to books, and while we cannot address every single school… we can focus on one school and creating a culture of literature there for them. None on of these children have access to books like ours do, they do not have a community library near at hand and they do not have a functioning school library either. They also live in an environment where books are just not a way of life and they won’t have books lying around at home just waiting to be read and there certainly won’t be bed-time stories. I think we could possibly change this.
The school was established in January 1979, and is situated in the middle of a previously disadvantaged community. There are a close to 1250 students ranging from grade R to grade 7, and thirty five teachers to teach them. In an area plagued with unemployment most parents cannot pay school fees for their children. There are bigger priorities in a community rife with unemployment and all the social problems associated with that, than books. From all the world we cannot change their circumstances but we can provide books.
With books we can open up a whole new world for these children, show them a world that they can climb into, create places they want to visit, provide dreams that they can pursue… These are exactly the children that need a good book to escape into. I firmly believe that wherever you are, and whatever situation you are in, you can always escape into a book… but that is only if you have an opportunity to connect with a book. The project that we choose will have children that need to be able to escape the world around them, more than most of us. They are in a school environment, where they should have access to books. But because of things way beyond their control they do not have access to living books. With our community, we could create piles of books for each of these children… let’s aim high and figure out a way to do this together.
So How Can You Help?
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. Remember these books are gifts, we will visit the school when they unpack them. Loved books are great, over loved books… not so much, and old tattered textbooks from your college days that have been used as door stops… really not so much.
- 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 or Xhosa as their first language. English books are very welcome, so are books in Afrikaans and Xhosa. 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 so 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 one 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!!!
SuperNova Magazine, the Mag for Curious Kids is South Africa’s premier magazine for kids, packed with actual factual facts for kids, has signed up to join us with our Library building project and offered to help us every step of the way… and I am going to blog all about that next week.
Disclosure: The Amazon and Loot links are affiliate links and our blog will earn a very small percentage of the book sales made there, we pledge to put any of our earnings from books for the school directly back into buying more books for them… this is their project and we don’t in any way want to gain financially from it.