It was recently International Children’s Book Day… a great day to talk about the books we love and want to share with our kids. All our favourite favourites… Meanwhile, it is the season to be building a library book by book. We have done it before and we are doing it again. This year we are building a library for a school in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town.
This is a primary school with over a thousand children in it, and no books to read. The reason we chose this school is not only does it not have a library for the children in their school, but there is no community library for them either. When we announced our project way earlier in February we didn’t realise that we would have a real problem communicating with the school… not everyone has the internet available at their finger tips, let alone cell phones. We have fixed our initial difficulties and we are running full steam ahead.
I know I can’t imagine a life without books. And study after study has shown that a childhood surrounded by books will lead to great things in life… to that end my children have been surrounded by books. Books are literally (!) everywhere… we read at breakfast, books beside their bed, books on the couch, books in a basket to take outside… books in bags and once or twice a week we can walk to the nearest library and there are enough books in circulation their that we can each take out se7en books and almost never have to get the same book twice. And yes, there are those favourites that we take out again and again and again. Basically, my children have grown up in a culture of books and would like to pass that gift on to children that have definitely not known books at all.
How the Build a Library Book by Book Project Works
We are looking for new or nearly new books to gift to these children… books that will inspire them, books that they would love to look at and get lost in. … books that can open up a whole new world to them. Just because these children live on the outskirts of Cape Town doesn’t mean that they have ever been to the beach, up Table Mountain, into the city or into the country. We would like to gift these children with wonderful books that inspire them to dream big. We will be visiting the school in early May and opening up the packages that you sent for the children with them… so we would like you to send us a package with one or two books inside it… Books that you would like to give your children or books that your children would like to give their friends.
Aramex Can Help You
If you live in South Africa, things just gotta a whole lot easier for you… go through a spin of your bookshelves and choose a couple of books that your children have read and then: Did you know that anywhere in South Africa… you can head for your nearest Pick ‘n Pay and pop the books into an Aramex Bag… and for R99. they will ship your bag of books to us… whatever you can squeeze into that bag… all from the convenience of your local Pick ‘n Pay store. It doesn’t get easier than that.
The Superb SuperNova Magazine
Otherwise, the fabulous SuperNova Magazine are gifting the school with an entire collection of their magazines, from the beginning to the end!!! And they will match anything our readers buy on their website… and donate that to the school as well… It is a pretty fantastic offer and easy way to send our library fun things to read. If you haven’t seen their funky factual magazine for kids then take a look at this post… If you would like to join Super Nova Magazine and have them match your purchases then follow this link:
So How Can You Help to Build a Library?
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, or Reader’s Warehouse 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 almost weekly. 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…
Step 4: There is a Deadline…
We would like to deliver the books that we personally collect and accumulate in the first week or two of May, so while you can ship anytime… we are hoping to end this campaign early in May.
Finally, I sent emails out earlier this week, with the shipping details, to all the folk that I had on our list. If you didn’t receive an email and you have put your name down already… then please forgive me, and leave a comment below, I will email you the details as soon as I hear from you.