African Library Project

Leah and Daniel's African Library Project

09/06/2014 to 11/29/2014
South Orange NJ

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 ...

Daniel and Leah, who are 2nd and 4th graders in South Orange, NJ, and their mom, who does public health research. We all love to read, and are working together to share this love of books with our partner school in Lesotho!

Our website link:

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

Reading is one of our most important, favorite activities, and we want to share that opportunity with as many young people as possible. Documentaries like "Girl Rising" have also made us realize what a big difference education can make in the lives of children, their families, and their communities, and as active TV Turnoff participants all year we're always looking for projects to work on together.

About our African Partners...

Our African Partners are St. Bernadette Primary School and Toloane Primary School in Lesotho, and Tlhakoaneng Community Library in Quthing. They will house the library and will share the resources with neighboring primary and secondary schools.

Please contribute these kinds of books...

We are collecting 1,000+ gently used pre-school to 8th grade reading level books. We have also been asked to collect teacher resource materials for these grade levels, which can include reference books, blank workbooks, posters, learning games, and books about how to teach reading, math, etc.

Paperback books are preferred because they're cheaper to ship. Examples of great books to send include:
- Children’s picture books
- Children’s fiction and non-fiction
- Early readers
- BIG books
- Children’s dictionaries/picture dictionaries
- Children’s encyclopedias/picture encyclopedias
- Children’s thesauruses
- Paperback textbooks in math, English, geography, health, and science at appropriate level (kindergarten to 6th grade). Send no more than two copies of any texbook; these will be used for teacher resources.
- Books with universal themes (friendships, animals, love)
- Children's books teaching life skills about health, hygiene, adolescence and careers
- 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

Books we can't accept include:
• 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 United States history or government (but DO SEND books about African-Americans)
• Books about 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 that are less than 5 years old

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

1. Mail books (media rate is very inexpensive!) to:
709 Kenmore Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079

2. Drop books off there any time. We have a dedicated storage bin at the side of the house to keep books safe and dry in any weather.

2. Contact our organizer Christel to arrange pickup:
- We'll pick up any quantity of books in northern NJ.
- Outside of northern NJ we'll use the "one mile per book" rule: we'll pick up any collection that is roughly equal to or greater than the number of one-way miles between us and you. For example, from our town to Philadelphia is approximately 85 miles, so if you live there and collect 80+ books then we'll come get them!

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

Please consider donating money as well as books. Our collection of books and school materials will first be sent to a warehouse in New Orleans, where it will be added to a cargo ship bound for Africa. We need shipping supplies, and help paying the postage to New Orleans (or gas and tolls, if we drive down there) as well as the international shipping fees.

Here are some ways that you can help...

Donate books!
Donate teaching supplies!
Donate packing/shipping supplies!
Donate money!:
Rally other friends and family to join in. Start a collection at your school, church, office, biker club, whatever!
Share this page and our video with others who might want to help:

Contact us to find out more

Name: Christel Hyden
Phone: 646-734-9844

Progress Report

Our Goal 3,400 books $1500 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: December 11, 2014)
3,382 books $1500 fundraising

Our book drive represents all sorts of personal connections, from family friends to old schoolmates. As a result, right now we've got books from New York, New Jersey, Texas, Wisconsin, and Ohio, with Maine, Pennsylvania, and even Canada on its way next month!

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About the African Library Project

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