By Michelle Lin ‘23, Cindy Cao ‘23, Julia Bohnen ‘24
We have always felt lucky to have grown up with access to books and literature. In Lesotho, a country in Southern Africa, students are not as fortunate. COVID-19 has exacerbated the literacy gap and communities are left without books and libraries. Most crucially, students without access to libraries haven’t been able to develop their reading and writing skills when they are primed to develop them most.
From May 20 to June 7, WPGA is holding a book drive with African Library Project: a nonprofit literacy organization. Our aim is to collect 1,000 books to create a community library in Lesotho. Through the drive, we hope to raise awareness about unequal access to literature around the world. Further, we hope to form meaningful and lasting bonds with our partner school/community in Lesotho.
You’ll see donation boxes in the junior and senior lobbies. Please only bring books written in English, and make sure your donations are aligned with the guidelines below.
Once the library is shipped and established, African Library Project works with a net of dedicated partners within Africa to transport the library to each community. Their partners provide training on how to set up and run a library in a rural community and also follow up to evaluate the use of our libraries and encourage good library practices. Our goal is to make sure the library remains active and continues to enrich those who need them.
Click here for our fun promotional video! The ALP organization also has guidelines on the types of books to donate:
BOOKS TO DONATE
Books in English ONLY at the preschool to grade 4 reading level
(The Hate You Give, Ready Player One, The Giver, Mortal Instruments, Hunger Games)
Books with universal themes (love, friendship, etc.)
(The Boy who Harnessed the Wind, Diary of Anne Frank, National Geographic, etc.)
Children’s books about teaching life skills
Books about Africa or African Canadians/Americans
Children’s books with diverse characters
BOOKS NOT TO DONATE
Books filled with small, dense print that might be too intimidating or unfitting for the age level
Books with lots of slang, which may be difficult for English learners to follow
Books for young children that have many references to appliances and electronic gadgets
Books written in any language besides English (US or UK)
Adult paperback romance novels
Books that are heavily focused on United States or Canadian history or government
Books about North American or religious holidays (Easter, Halloween, Christmas, 4th of July, etc.)
Anything that evangelizes or promotes a particular religion
Magazines (except for children's educational magazines and National Geographic less than five years old)
Donating a library creates far-reaching and generational impacts for students and their families in Lesotho. We are so thrilled about this drive! Thank you for supporting literacy around the world!