African Library Project

Denver Book Drive

02/23/2017 to 05/01/2017
Denver CO

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 ...

Everyone has a least one cause they believe in. Whether it be ending global warming, putting an end to poverty, or racial bias, or gender income inequality, etc. There truly are an unlimited number of causes or beliefs that we can all have. Just one idea, one notion of what we believe would make the world a better place. A lot of times, we struggle to find the motivation to put those thoughts, no matter how strong, into action. We provide many excuses for ourselves as to why we are reluctant to simply type our cause into a web browser and scroll through the two million links and organizations that pull up in half a second. For those of you have done this and acted upon it, I applaud you. For those of you who may not have taken this step, I do not berate you by any means. I understand the difficulty of taking time out of our hectic lives to try and participate in something that may be far from home and something we don’t think about every day. Right now, I just want to remind you all that actions for something you believe in don’t have to be magnificent. This is an often repeated rhetoric that small actions go a long way. However, I happen to know for a fact that this is true. So just do something. Do something. Anything to help a cause you truly believe in.

My name is Ellie Wells and I would like to share with you all exactly why I am doing this. Like almost everyone else, I have a cause that I really believe in. Multiple in fact. For me, a cause I strongly believe in is the right to education. Education is immeasurably valuable and too often we take for granted everything we learn and all the resources we have to learn them. I tend to do this all the time, unfortunately. When I wake up at 6 am for school or when I am up till midnight trying to get all my homework done. However, many others work much harder than I do for their educations. Some things I have learned from the education I have received thus far are three skills that I believe are incredibly important. Critical thinking, logic, and reasoning. For me, these skills lead to a sense of understanding, especially of people or things that are different from what are familiar to us. So many conflicts are happening present day simply because of contradicting beliefs and a refusal to view things from various points of view.

When I heard about African Library Project, I thoroughly explored their website and read about how children living in Lesotho will walk up to two hours every single day to and from school just so that they can get some learning in that day. Some children even sleep at the schools for a month at a time, only seeing their families every so often, simply because they crave education. When I read this, I realized that if these children are willing to make such a commitment to getting an education so that they can become nurses and pilots and lawyers, the least I could was do was assist them in making sure the education they are sacrificing so much for is amazing and will set them up for success. I share the belief with ALP that the ability to read and the ability to write are vital skills needed for developing one’s future. These skills are critical to almost every single field of work one wishes to enter. Knowing how important books were to me growing up and reading practically anything I could get my hands on, makes me want to make sure these students have the same opportunities I have had.

So now I am asking every single one of you who have taken the time to pursue this website, to please, please help me assist these school children to get the resources they need to earn the future that they all truly want and that they all truly deserve. Bring in books and a few dollars and you will be doing your part to help so many children for decades to come. Please bring in children’s books that no longer have a use in your homes, or part with a few and watch them go to an amazing place and be put to an important use. If you don’t have books in your homes, I have attached a few links below to help.

We all have that cause we strongly believe in. For me, it is education and I implore all of you to help me and help the children of Lesotho. I also encourage you to go out and participate in any organization that speaks to you.

There are a few links I would like to list now that may help everyone to become more involved and connected to the project.

African Library Project main web page:

African Library Project Amazon wishlist if you don’t have any books at home for donation:

House of Books is an incredible video showing footage of schools in Lesotho (where we will be sending our books) and Botswana. Truly inspiring and motivational video I encourage all of you to watch:

The address for this web page. Please send it to all your friends and help us spread the word!

Thank you!

Our website link:

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

We want to start a library in Africa because we understand how important the ability to read and to write are. These skills may seem secondary to most people, however, that is not the case in many countries around the world that do not have these resources. Given how vital the ability to read and to write are to promoting one's future, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Graland Country Day School, and members of the Denver community are motivated to collecting books and funds to allow many others to advance their education and futures. The impact we can have on the lives of Lesotho school children is huge, so we encourage all of you do help in any way you can. This such an amazing opportunity for all parties involved, so thank you so much for your contribution.

About our African Partners...

The Denver Book Drive will be collecting books for a secondary library in Lesotho.

Information about Lesotho

Who we are

Lesotho Mission Statement:
To develop and implement policies which ensure the acquisition of functional literacy among all Basotho and to develop a productive, quality citizens through education and training.
Lesotho believes in combating its poverty through education. The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) ensures that education is accessible to all. The government of Lesotho introduced free primary education in order to reach this goal and hopes to do so by 2015. Initiatives associated with free access to primary education include the provision of textbooks and writing materials for primary school children and allowing secondary school students to borrow books. Other initiatives include integrating special needs students into the school system and requiring that equal, quality education be given to all students.

What daily life is like in Lesotho
Our school day is from 8 am to 3 pm daily though many students stay later to study, play sports and use the library. Many children do chores before and after school such as helping cook, cleaning their home or feeding their family's animals. Students walk to school and many walk for more than two hours to get to school. Some students live at the school during the school year and see their families only once a month. Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Lesotho. Our children also enjoy playing netball, volleyball, and running track.
Sheep and goats are very important to us and often used as a system of currency. Many boys are kept out of school to herd animals for the family. When a couple marries, the man must pay "lobola" or a bride price to the woman's family. Four cows is the average, but the number usually depends on the education of the woman.
Many fathers work in mines in South Africa and are rarely home. Many children only see their fathers a few times a year. Women work in the fields alongside men to grow food for their families. Nearly every family in Lesotho has a small plot of land where they grow corn and cabbage for their families.
Lesotho enjoys a vibrant oral tradition with people passing along stories from generation to generation. Reading is not a common way to pass time, but this is because there are few books. Gradually, as our students are gaining access to books in our new libraries, they are enjoying the stories and have begun to like to read. We learn to read in Sesotho (the official language of Lesotho) then add English during our fourth year of school. To pass the exams to get into secondary school, we must be fluent in English so this is a very important skill for our students.

Why Lesotho works with the African Library Project
Many people living in Lesotho do not have access to books and the schools usually only have textbooks for their students. The Ministry of Education and Training is working to create more libraries within the schools and encourage the schools to open up their libraries to the community. The Ministry of Education and Training trains the teacher-librarians how to take care of the books and maximize each book’s longevity. This training ensures that the libraries will be well run and self-sustaining for the future.

What Lesotho has accomplished with ALP
Since 2005, the African Library Project has started 363 libraries in Lesotho, reaching nearly 340,000 readers. The collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Training and the African Library Project has brought great success to this country and has led to an increase in test scores from previous years. The creation of libraries has affected many children and their choice to consider college or other forms of education as an option.

Hopes and wishes of Lesotho
We hope that every Basotho child has an access to books. This requires getting books into every school in every district in Lesotho.

Sincere thanks to the people making it happen
We very much appreciate the support we have received from the U.S. Peace Corps Lesotho and the African Library Project to help our people learn and grow. We cannot forget to thank the individual book drive organizers who lead book drives in their community inspiring the donation of books and money. We so appreciate all your help!

Lesotho is such an amazing country and members of the Denver community are so excited to form this connection with them and we appreciate all of your help in assisting us to build a library with them.

Please contribute these kinds of books...

We are collecting for a secondary library, which means we need books from 4th to 8th-grade reading levels. There are a few guidelines as what books we are looking for and what books we can accept.

Books We are Looking for:

Juvenile literature
Children’s fiction and nonfiction
Teacher's resource books for school libraries
Encyclopedias less than 15 years old
Accurate up-to-date atlases
Math books from 6th grade up, including algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus, English books (focusing on grammar or comprehension), geography books, health books, science books including general science, biology, chemistry, and physics at an appropriate level. Send no more than two copies of any textbook, these will be used as a teacher resource.
Life skills books about health, hygiene, adolescence, careers, etc.
Books with universal themes (friendships, animals, love)
Books like Chicken Soup for the Soul (inspiring stories with life skills lessons)
Books about Africa or African-Americans
Educational kids science and literary magazines in good condition
Brain teasers, flash cards, educational games and puzzles

Books We are Not Looking for:

Books that are filled with small, dense print that might be too intimidating or boring for the age level
Books with lots of slang, which may be difficult for English learners to follow
Books for very young children that have many references to appliances and electronic gadgets.
Adult paperback romance novels
Books about the United States or Canadian history or government (but DO SEND books about African-Americans)
Books about North American or religious holidays (Easter, Halloween, Christmas, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, April Fools Day, Valentine’s Day, Chanukah, etc.)
Books that evangelize or promote a particular religion
Magazines except for children's educational magazines and National Geographics less than 5 years old

Thank you for your contribution!

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

This book drive is hosted by St. Anne's Episcopal School, so any St. Anne's community member can drop their books in any of the donation bins around the school. Graland is also a partner in the project, so any Graland community member can drop their books off at any of the donation bins around Graland. If you are not a member of either of these communities, please email and we can work on a location for you to drop off your books.

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

We are trying to raise as many children's books and funds as we can to build this library. We are trying to get the word out to as many people as possible, so please donate all you can and help spread the word by telling friends and family. Anyone can participate in this project. All you have to do is collect all the books you have, donate a few dollars and you will be making a huge impact in the lives of so many. We need around $500 dollars to make this library happen. The $500 goes to shipping costs and depending on how many of our books are paperback versus hardback, this is a rough estimate, so as much as you can contribute is a big help.

Here are some ways that you can help...

Donate, donate, donate! We need as many books as we can get, so look around your house, spread the word to your friends, and help us accomplish this goal!

Contact us to find out more

Name: Ellie Wells Lead Organizer. Please contact me first with any questions. Both email and phone work, however, email will probably receive quicker response.
Phone: 303-802-0324

Name: Ashleigh Finn Graland ALP coordinator
Phone: 303-398-3665

Progress Report

Our Goal 1,000 books $600 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 3-20-2017)
578 books $500 fundraising

Help Everyone Achieve the Education and Successful Futures They Deserve!


Thank you so much to everyone who donates or participates in this drive or organization. You are helping the world become a better place by providing resources for the quality education of today's youth. Everything you have done is so important and we are so thankful for contributions. Thank you so much and please continue to help us get the word out!

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About the African Library Project

Learn more about the African Library Project at
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