Instill a Reading Culture

Our latest shipment of books arrived in Lesotho, Africa this week.

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Mr. Malakane shared photos from his classroom and wrote this:

It’s so good seeing them absorbed in reading. Instilling a reading culture in them will get them far in life. Thanks for the continuing friendship.

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We are thrilled to be able to connect with you through reading. Thank you for sharing your photos! Our students are all growing from the experience.

Bookmark Connections

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In one of our latest boxes of books we sent to Lesotho, we enclosed some fun dog and cat bookmarks that the Books to Africa students made.

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When the books arrived, the students in Mr. Malakane’s class were surprised by the special enclosure.

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They also liked the books we sent!

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The fun didn’t stop there however. They were inspired by the materials we sent and decided to make African masks using Aloe leaves.

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Mr. Malakane explained that ” my kids were just excited to experiment with other materials in making the bookmarks! They are not used to this type of art so I figured out that they should begin this way. They are now carving various artifacts out of many materials from the environment.”

It’s amazing to see how two classrooms  separated by 10,000 miles of land and sea can still be connected through books and bookmarks. Now we are trying something new in today’s box of books. In addition to books, we are sending some samples of poetry writing our students have written for Poetry Month. You can read more about our poetry lessons on the Bulldog Reader Blog. We can’t wait to see what poems Mr. Malakane’s students write next!

Books Arrive in Lesotho

Look what just arrived in Lesotho!

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Mr. Malakane just posted this photo of his students opening the box of book we sent to his class. They were so excited to open the box of books and see what was delivered. We are thrilled that the box arrived safely. There is another box in transit and will arrive within a few weeks.

This shipment is also a good lesson in mathematics. Here are some questions to research.

How far is it from Seattle, Washington, USA to Maseru, Lesotho?

The box was mailed in Seattle on January 24, 2014 and arrived in Lesotho on February 18, 2014. How many days did it take to arrive in Maseru?

What is the weather in Maseru, Lesotho at this time of year?

What is the weather like in Seattle, Washington at this time of year?

We hope you will leave a comment and let us know!

A Photo Review

This is year two of our Books to Africa program. We have been meeting weekly in the library, planning, sorting, signing, coloring, playing and fundraising. Our goal was to raise $1,000 this year. The great news is that we have exceeded our goal! We have raised:

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We have sent six (6) boxes filled with over 600 books already. We are excited that our friends will have some new books to read soon. We need your help too!

Do you have a reading theme bookmark you have personally designed that you would like us to use for our project? Please make sure it is a book mark you have drawn yourself.  Please send it with your parent’s permission to Mrs. Hembree.

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We will copy it, color it and place it in our next shipment.

Here is a video of our project from year #2.

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Let’s do some math:

How many boxes will we be able to send if each box costs $80.00?

How many books will we send if we can place 100 books in each box?

Playing for Funds

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 NW Aerials hosted an evening of flipping, jumping and sliding fun on Friday evening as over 60 kids played to raise funds for our Books to Africa project. For two hours the students played on the inflatables, gymnastic equipment, trampolines and foam pit.

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After listening to the safety rules, the gym was opened up for fun and play! Playing was a super fun way to raise $500 to pay for postage for the books we are sending to our partner schools in Ghana, Lesotho, and South Africa.

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The foam pit was especially popular all evening. There is something really enticing about jumping into a pit full of giant soft foam cubes!

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Before the fun night, I packed up two boxes of books heading to Lesotho and South Africa and headed off to the post office. We sent off 215 books and many bookmarks to our friends.

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Each book in the boxes was signed by one of our students. Many of them were autographed at the multicultural night when parents and students stopped by our booth. Multicultural Night marked the one year anniversary of fundraising for our project.

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Students have been participating again this school year, meeting on Tuesdays during recess.

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They have been signing books, making and coloring bookmarks, and creating advertising movies.

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Some students have been creating BananaGrams for BTA too!

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In December, we sent our first box to Ghana, and I just received word that the package just cleared customs in Ghana. Hopefully it will arrive at Mrs. Adei’s school soon!

We are crossing our fingers that all our boxes will arrive safely and some fun books will be part of a new classroom overseas.

 

Quarters for Kids Campaign

Are you wondering how to donate to our Books to Africa project? 

If you are not a student at our school, or aren’t in our area, you can still help out!  Our PTSA has set up a online donation link. You can also click on the picture of Alex on the top of the right sidebar here on this blog. Every dollar raised goes directly to our project to pay for the postage costs to send books we have collected to our partner schools in Ghana, Lesotho and South Africa.

As of November 21, 2013 we have raised $231.oo toward our $1,000 goal. Every quarter counts! Our first shipment to Mrs. Adei in Ghana will be on its way in the next week! 

We made lots of mistakes filming our video. Mistakes are a way to learn and sometimes funny! Here’s our “Bloopers” version:

Books Delivered to Ndlokolo

Welcome to a new school year for Books to Africa!

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Recently, Mrs. Dunstone and some her grade 7 students at Highbury Preparatory School traveled Ndlokolo Primary School, a semi-rural school  near the Inanda Dam in the Valley of a Thousand  Hills outside of Hillcrest, South Africa. Highbury Prep is one of our partner schools in our Books to Africa project. They have had a ten year relationship with Ndlokolo Primary School, sharing visits between the two schools for 7th graders, an annual Easter egg collection and food collection project designed to collect food for the numerous children who attend school without having had breakfast.

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On this trip they brought three boxes of books we had sent last spring before school ended here, plus blankets and soup for each student at the school.

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We are excited to be able to work with Highbury Prep and Ndlokolo school to provide more reading opportunities for the children. Mrs. Dunstone hopes to take photos of their school library on their next trip to the valley.

Cato Manor Library Room Opens

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Sometimes it’s the simplest things that can make a difference in the life of a child. Simple like a book.

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Cato Manor is a neighborhood where poverty has a firm grip on its residents. Within the city of Durban, South Africa, Cato Manor has its difficulties. It consists of mainly “squatter homes” which are homes built out of any available materials like scrap wood, wrought iron, cardboard, plastic, etc.

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There is no sanitation and no running water. Residents share community latrines and carry their water in buckets from nearby communal taps. Most of the residents have moved from rural areas into Durban hopeful for employment. Sadly, jobs are hard to come by and people are forced to live in terrible conditions. Education and books are luxuries that most people can’t afford.

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This is precisely where Kayvand, one of Mrs. Regaud’s Eden College, 12th year students, opened a library room near his father’s doctor’s office in Cato Manor area. 

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The children who come to the doctor office (or surgery as it’s called in South Africa) have no means of obtaining books or going to libraries. Kayvand is providing a wonderful service to these children.

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 He opens his library room in the afternoons and on the weekends and holidays. He has a part-time assistant for when he can’t be there, so the library can stay open for those who need it.

Kayvand designed the logo himself. His library room is small still, but he hopes to expand it in time. Mostly he has high school text books.

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Mrs. Regaud decided to bring two boxes of books to his library room to give away as gifts to the children who visit because she was so impressed with what Kayvand is trying to do for the children in Cato Manor.

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Maybe this library room and will be the place that sparks some of these children to try pursue a life and education beyond Cato Manor. Thank you Kayvand for opening this library room and offering the wonder of reading to these children. We are so glad we can be a part of your dream!