In April of 2018, staff member Kate Reid and her husband, Jim, returned to Kenya to work again with the 75 early elementary teachers working for the Missions of Hope International schools. On this trip Kate and the teachers worked on rolling out the Africa Books Project, where each of the 75 classrooms would receive a bag of books that could then be circulated among classrooms. Kate will give a presentation on her trip and an update now that the books have finally arrived in Kenya and are in the classrooms. Thanks to generous donations to Battenkill Books, we were able to send 233 preschool picture books to MoHI. That's eight boxes, about 250 pounds, worth more than $3000.00!
About the Project
Two years ago our long-time bookseller Kate, first 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.
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 goal was to collect enough donated books to put together 75 cloth tote bags each containing 10 books. Each classroom would receive a bag of books to use for story time, project stimulation, and individual reading time. Then, the bags will be rotated to a different classroom and eventually around the 18 different schools allowing in-class access to print materials. That means 750 books in each child’s hands after all the bags have been rotated!