Promote Global Literacy and Education

We here in the United States don't realize how truly blessed we are to have a wealth of information at our fingertips. Not only do we have the Internet (a luxury many places do not have, or only have on a very limited basis) but we also have almost unlimited access to books. We have access to many libraries, both public ones and those of educational institutions. Any book we can't find at a library we can find on site such as Amazon or Alibris. We are in a society saturated with books. However, in some countries book are extremely hard to come by, especially educational ones. Can you imagine trying to run a school with no textbooks? Or only one copy of a textbook shared amongst 20 students? These are some of the challenges that schools in the 3rd world face. This is where the International Book Project comes in. Its creator, Harriet Van Meter, was so moved by people standing in lines to have the opportunity to read books in India, that she founded the International Book Project to provide books for the 3rd world. What started as project run out of her basement, now ships books all over the world. They receive requests for books from schools and organizations in need, and then ship the books to them. International Book Project is always in need of donations, both financial ones, and book donations (for the criteria see their website www.intlbookproject.org). This is a great project for schools. Used text books can be taken to their warehouse on Delaware Ave in Lexington, from where they will be sent to schools in need. International Book Project also provides the opportunity for school-to-school pen pals, matching students in the United States with an age appropriate class in another country, giving children an invaluable grasp on other cultures and tolerance. Last year (2005) Lexington Catholic, lead by two of its students, Besnik and Ardena Gojani, organized a school wide effort to send over 15,000 books to Kosovo to replace those which had been lost in 2 library fires. Ardena contacted International Book Project to request aid for this project, and with the help of a grant, a few other generous sponsors, and a massive effort on the part of the Gojani sisters to spread the word about the project and organize it, her goal was achieved.