Saturday, June 18, 2011

52 Weeks of Giving - Weeks 24 - Donate Books to "Books For Africa"

For the 24th week of giving, Sophia and Olivia picked out and sent books to Books For Africa.  According to the Books For Africa website:

"...We believe that education is the great equalizer in the world, and books are at the foundation of a strong educational system. For many children in Africa, the gift of books truly is a gift of hope.

"Access to an education is one of the only opportunities young people have to end the cycle of poverty and attain a better quality of life than previous generations. Books For Africa works to help children who otherwise would not attend school by supplying educational materials to reduce or eliminate education costs.

"Wars, economic crises, poverty, malnutrition, and illiteracy plague many areas of Africa. According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), 40 percent of school-age children in Africa do not attend school. Forty-six million African children have never set foot in a classroom.

"Most African children who attend school have never owned a book of their own. In many classrooms, 10-20 students share one textbook. Many people in the United States take these educational necessities for granted, but children in Africa cherish books.

"Books For Africa supplies sea containers of books to rural school libraries, orphanages, adult literacy programs, and community resource centers. Books For Africa strives to help create a culture of literacy and provide the tools of empowerment to the next generation of parents, teachers, and leaders in Africa."

After learning about Books For Africa, the girls picked out some books that they wanted to send the children. 

Sophia and Olivia packaging books
they want to donate to Books For Africa. 
They had picked more books to donate, but
they were copyrighted more than 15 years ago. 
It's too bad...many of the older, classic books that the girls have enjoyed
have such wonderful stories and lessons.

They needed to follow these guidelines about books that Books For Africa accepts:

•15 years old or newer popular fiction and nonfiction reading books (soft and hard cover).
•1995 or newer publish date primary, secondary, and college textbooks (soft and hard cover).
•1995 or newer reference books such as encyclopedias and dictionaries.
•1995 or newer publish date medical, nursing, IT, and law books.
•Bibles are sent when requested by African recipients.
•School/office supplies—paper, pencils, pens, wall charts, maps, etc.

Acceptable books are gently used and relevant to an African reader.

Books For Africa does NOT accept:

•Magazines or journals or any kind.
•Home decorating, wedding, or cookbooks.
•Ethnocentric books, such as the biography of Abraham Lincoln or the history of Ohio.
•Foreign language books except for French books. French novels and dictionaries are welcome.
•American history or civics.
•Music books for K–12.

The girls put the books in a box and did not include any packing materials such as newspaper, plastic wrap, and peanuts (as requested by Books For Africa).

They mailed them to:

Books For Africa
715 Minnehaha Avenue East
St Paul, MN 55130
There also is an address in Georgia that accepts books.  People can drop off books in person if they don't want to mail them. 

There are more details about shipping or dropping off books at their website.

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