Welcome to the Africa Books Project page!
Last winter our long-time bookseller Kate, traveled to Kenya to visit the Missions of Hope International (MOHI) schools, an NGO serving almost 14,000 children of the Nairobi slums and several bush sites around the country. Being an early childhood educator, Kate focused on this area of MOHI’s program and visited 14 schools observing and inquiring of the teachers what they needed to better meet the needs of their younger students. She found that there were very little hands-on materials and no in-classroom books. To address these needs, this Books for Africa project was conceived.
Here’s the plan:
We all know how important it is to get books into emergent reader’s hands. With around 75 early childhood classrooms (the number is always growing), the plan is to put together 75 cloth tote bags each containing 10 books. Each classroom gets a bag of books to use for story time, project stimulation, and individual reading time for a determined length of time. Then, the bag gets rotated to a different classroom and eventually around the 18 different schools allowing in-class access to print materials. 750 books in each child’s hands after all the bags have been rotated!
How you can help:
Battenkill Books has put together a suggested list of books for the MOHI early childhood program at a 15% discount. You may purchase individual books on-line or donate to the project. Kate will transport the books when she returns to do teacher training workshops. Currently the plan is for her to return in April 2018 during Kenya's school break.
If you will be a short term MOHI/CFM volunteer this summer, you may choose to order your books through us, pay for shipping to you, and transport them yourself allowing us to get more books to the schools. (Also feel free to pick up the books locally to you and transport them to the Pangani site for organizing.) We are open to collaborating with 4-H, scouting troops, and school service projects. Give us a call.
Thanks for your help!
Short Update- July:
Kate, her husband, Jim, and friend, Sandy Van Dyk traveled to Nairobi in April. At that time they carried three, large suitcases filled with books and materials for a week long training for 136 early childhood and first and second grade teachers. All the teachers are employed through MoHI and teach in the Nairobi slums or the bush. While there Kate also went book shopping with the early childhood director, Jenipher Ahenda. Through monies from the American Montessori Society's Ursula Thrush Peace Seed Grant they were able to add 195 additional books to those donated by our community and friends.
We are still waiting for the original shipment of 233 books to reach the schools. Through a delay in our customs, the books didn't leave the States until May. Currently they are at port in Mombasa.
Kate will be doing a presentation to the community about her time in Kenya on Thursday, September 13 at 6:30 pm. We hope to see you then!
Currently 233 preschool picture books are on their way via a shipping crate to MoHI. That's eight boxes, about 250 pounds, worth more than $3000.00! Once packed, Kate was glad that she wasn't personally transporting the books in her luggage. Since the books went out we have eight additional books that have been donated. Kate leaves April 3rd and is willing to have her arm muscles challenged. We have a great selections of picture books in our MoHI window that would make excellent additions.
In addition, the project has received a $600.00 grant from the American Montessori Society's Peace Initiative Committee. It covered the transportation to Kenya of the above books and with over $300 left will be used to purchase books in Nairobi.
To receive 15% off of your purchase, use coupon code MOHI15 at checkout.
If Kate will be transporting your donation to Kenya, please enter STORE PICK-UP so you are not charged shipping.