African Library Project

Strath Haven International Club's African Library Project

03/06/2014 to 05/25/2014
Wallingford PA

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 ...

The Strath Haven International Club in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. Our club seeks to enhance student's perspectives on the world. Students attend cultural events around the Philadelphia area, learn from speakers, films, food, and festivals, and try to move beyond suppositions and stereotypes. This year, the student leaders and members elected to support the African Library Project and get their community involved in a great program.

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

Reading is the forerunner to higher education and with an education a person can improve his/her life and other's lives. Others across the globe are not so fortunate as we are to have such a great education system. The simple things we take for granted such as reading, should not be taken so lightly because without being literate education would not be possible.

About our African Partners...

Our books will be going to Milola Primary School in Malawi. The library will be open to the community so they will need 2/3 preschool-4th grade books and 1/3 4th-8th grade books.

Please contribute these kinds of books...

Since our library is a primary school library that is open to the community, 2/3 of our books will need to be primary school level (Pre-school to 4th grade) and 1/3 of our books will need to be secondary school level (4th grade to 8th grade).

Children’s fiction and non-fiction
Early readers
BIG books
Teacher's resource books for school libraries
Children’s dictionaries/picture dictionaries
Encyclopedias less than 15 years old
Children’s encyclopedias/picture encyclopedias
Children’s thesauruses
Paperback textbooks in math, English, geography, health, and science at appropriate level (kindergarten to 6th grade)
Books with universal themes (friendships, animals, love)
Children’s/teen health books
Accurate up-to-date atlases
Books about Africa or African-Americans
Educational children's science and literary magazines in good condition
Brain teasers, flash cards, educational games and puzzles

Some examples of primary books include:
Junie B. Jones
Magic Tree House
Magic School Bus
Nancy Drew
Dr. Seuss

Some examples of 4th-8th grade books include:
Warrior Cat series
Bunnicula series
Book of Ember series
Harry Potter series
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

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

For the High School: Look for International Club bake sales and events

Here are some ways that you can help...

Donate books: Reading levels: Pre-k to 8th grade, an emphasis on the lower reading levels is much appreciated.
Donate money: We need to raise about $600 for the shipping costs.
Ask friends and family for donations of books or money
Bake goods for our upcoming bake sales

Contact us to find out more

Name: Jenny Chan

Name: Laura Donahue

Progress Report

Our Goal 1,000 books $600 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 05/28/14)
500 books $639.11 fundraising

The pajama day at the high school helped us reach our goal!!

On March 28th the Swarthmorean published an article about our book drive!!

Wallingford Elementary School (WES) has recently joined the high school in our efforts to raise 1,000 books and $600 dollars!!

The international club hosted a packing party on Thursday May 29th, sorting and packing 1,121 books. The books were shipped out on Friday the 30th. We are officially finished!!! Thanks to everyone who helped make our goal a reality!


The international club would like to thank everyone who has been sacrificing their lunch time to collect donations. Losing a couple of lunches really made a difference. We raised about 200 dollars in two weeks. Let's keep up the hard work!!

Additionally, thank you to everyone who has helped, and is helping us to reach our goal. All people deserve the right to an education and every donation can help us make a difference.

Special thanks to the Swarthmore Public Library, Strath Haven Middle School, and Wallingford Elementary School for donating to help surpass our goal!

Tips for Other Book Drive Organizers

If you want to start a book drive, we recommend you pre-plan all of your fundraisers and make sure you have a place to store your books. 1,000 books take up a lot of space and can be very expensive to ship.

Additionally, sorting immediately after receiving your books makes it so much easier to pack them. If you can't sort immediately, then make sure you have a large group help you when you decide to pack. Our group broke up sorting into two days that were a month apart. The second day was our packing party. We had a medium sized group (8-10 people) sort all of the additional books we collected and it was a fast process because there were so many hands. After separating the books that didn't fulfill the requirements, we sorted by age group. Finally, we packaged the books, being careful to follow the packing directions. It was a long process, but we made it fun with snacks and lots of people.

Another piece of advice, is for clubs like us. Try to get all of your club members involved and keep them updated. It makes everyone feel like they are actively participating. Updating your school also makes the book drive become a community project, instead of just a club one. A lot of our donations came from community members who heard about our book drive in the local paper. Getting everyone involved can really help.

These are just a few tips that helped us reach our goal. We hope it helps you!

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About the African Library Project

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