African Library Project

Ariel Simons and family have started a book drive to create a library at Moyeni High School in Quthing Lesotho

10/15/2010 to 12/10/2010
Pound Ridge NY

We are working with the African Library Project to provide books to eager readers in Africa who have very few books. Please help us by collecting and delivering gently used books or by raising money to help pay for shipping to Africa. It takes only 1000 books and $500 (plus a little elbow grease!) to start a single library and make a huge difference in children’s lives.

This book drive is organized by ...

Ariel Simons 24 is a Peace Corps Volunteer in Quthing Lesotho Southern Africa. she is creating a much needed library in her community there with our help. You can read more about her and the project through the Bedford Katonah Patch:

Our website link:

We want to start a library in Africa because...

Statement from Ariel (typed with her thumbs on her cell phone)

For those of you who are not quite sure what this is about, here's a little background: I am currently serving as an education volunteer for the Peace Corps in Lesotho (that little blob in South Africa.) I live in a rural village called Moyeni and teach math and science at Moyeni High School. The myriad of problems facing the people of Lesotho include unemployment, 45% HIV infection rate, poverty, crime, hunger, drug abuse and lack of education. At my school 80% of the students are orphans, many walk three hours each way to get to school, they are often the heads of their households and only eat a single meal every day which is provided by the school. As orphans their school fees are paid for by the government but if they fail their scholarship is taken away and it is near impossible for them to attend school again. All exams are in English (their 2nd or 3rd language) yet they lack resources: no computers, radio, magazines, or books. This is where you all come into play... ...We wrote an application to the African Library Project which was approved as one of 15 schools in Lesotho to get a library in 2011. ALP will ship the books and my school will do everything else to make this library sustainable for student use. We need your help to collect 1000 books and the money to ship the books to ALP in New Orleans. We are looking for used early reader books anywhere from grades K-5. Lots of pictures, strong role models, reference materials, African protagonists, good morals, etc. ..These books will not only help improve the students' English, but it will give them a something to do in their free time, get them excited about school, increase their knowledge of the world outside of Lesotho and give them positive messages and characters to look up to. I have brought in some books for students to look through and they get SO EXCITED! This is something my students desperately need so if you have used books, know someone who does or just want to donate shipping money, you will truly make a huge difference in these kids' lives. Thank you thank you thank you so much in advance! For any further questions feel free to send me a message on facebook or email. If you want updates and personal letters from students once the library is running please also give us your mailing address. Also: any extra money collected will be used to ship art supplies for my art club, so nothing will go to waste :)

Please contribute these kinds of books...

We need new and used books K-6th grade: picture books, atlas and reference books, early readers, stories that foster self esteem and respect for others, books about health, the body and its functions, books with positive messages.

Here's how you can contribute your books...

Books can be mailed to:
Donna Simons
24 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY 10576

or call to arrange a drop off:

We need to raise funds for shipping the books...

We need to raise $500. to ship 1,000 books to a container in New Orleans (which will then carry them to Lesotho Africa where they will be distributed). If we collect more than 1,500 books, we can start a second library. Checks can be made out to 'Ariel Simons' with 'Moyeni HS Library' in memo line.

Here are some ways that you can help...

We need Books, money and helpers to sort and pack the books. We also need you to spread the word to anyone and everyone you know who values education, loves children and cares to make the world a better place.

Contact us to find out more

Name: Donna Simons Book Drive Organizer
Phone: 914-764-3006

Name: Rachel Simons NYC & NJ Coordinator
Phone: 914-643-5724

Name: Leah Simons Ithaca NY Coordinator

Progress Report

Our Goal 1,000 books $500 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 12/06/10)
3,000+ books $1944.00 fundraising

The Lesotho container left the warehouse in New Orleans today and is due to arrive in Maseru 4/2 with 32 new libraries inside. Happy Valentines Day, Lesotho from the ALP book drive organizers! more press:

We got a feature story this week in the Record Review (pg 7)...available in hard copy only... so come to Pound Ridge to pick up a copy!
Thank you to Don Heppner & the Record Review : )

current online articles:

The Lesotho container left the warehouse in New Orleans today and is due to arrive in Maseru 4/2 with 32 new libraries inside. Happy Valentines Day, Lesotho from the ALP book drive organizers!


Thank you for the generous donations of books, money, time and talents: (with many MANY more to come ~ stay posted)

Ariel's awesome sisters Rachel & Leah
Two donors who wishes to remain anonymous
Alyssa Domenech (World Class Book Organizer)
Bennie Amodeo (Pound Ridge Post Master)
Hyacinth and the Pound Ridge Post office
David Blaine (Magician/Entertainer extraordinarre)
Linda Green
Nancy Fowler
Irena Tsukernik
The Lionheart Gallery (in memory of Bonnie Bieder)
Joel Rodriguez (my awesome UPS guy)
Eric Illowsky & Sue Sarch
Peter & Adrian Diamond
Clifford & Karen Aaron
Heather Hobbs
Marc DelGiudice
Kim Blake & Family
Ellen Hertel
The Cindrich Family
Tammy Rainford & Family
Laura Johnson & Family
Jodi and Ian Berliner
Sylvia Pridgen
Gertrude Album
Karen Seemen-Pinn
Abby Karpinski
Jess Longo
Cally Speed
Melanie Krakower
Allison Carloni
Kathryn Simons
Bernice Massardo
Sharon Kennelty-Cohen
Alex Felsenstein and her mom Mrs. Stultz
Rachel Weissman
Beth Weissman
Bernardsville Library
Robin Pinkowitz
Erica Silbert
Laura Conte & Family
The Hoboken Family Alliance
Carmen and the 'Symposia Bookstore' in Hoboken
The Hudson Reporter
Ellen Best of 'The Record Review'
Don Heppner of 'The Record Review'
Lisa Buchman and 'The Bedford Katonah Patch'
Jennifer Brookman Producer of 'The View'
Hal Greene, President of 'Visitors Publishing'
Gale Harrison, Owner of the 'Paint Box'
Danielle Esposito (who is also making a library in Exuma)
Lynn Titus Dempsey
Carla Wales
Tory Garofolo
Marcia Michelson
PS 86 ~ NYC
Sora Vernikoff
Randi & John Klein
Michael Stadler
Matthew Perstein
David E. Schwartz

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