Posted by admin on 11.29.2006 at 4:01 pm
Better World Books is proud to announce the winners of our Spring 2006 scholarship awards. We worked with student groups at over 900 colleges across North America , and split the schools into 6 categories based on full-time undergraduate enrollment. The student organization in each category that collected the largest number of qualifying books won an additional $1,000 scholarship to support their other on-campus projects. Congratulations to all of these great book drive leaders! Better World Books
Spring 2006 Scholarship Winners:
0 to 2,499 students:
The New Life Foundation at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago , IL ran a drive on behalf of Books for Africa , resulting in 1,132 qualifying books.
2,500 to 4,999 students:
The Alpha Phi Omega chapter at Loyola College of Baltimore, MD also benefited Books for Africa. Their efforts brought in 1,926 qualifying books.
5,000 to 9,999 students:
The Books for Africa group at George Washington University Foggy Bottom Campus in Washington DC ran a Books for Africa drive, collecting 3,755 qualifying books.
10,000 to 14,999 students:
The Golden Key Honour Society at the University of New Hampshire at Durham supported Room to Read through their spring drive. With the help of the Durham Book Exchange, they brought in 1,792 qualifying books.
15,000 to 19,999 students:
The University of Oregon’s Alpha Phi Omega chapter brought in 5,855 qualifying books in support of Books for Africa.
20,000 and Up students:
The Circle K chapter at Texas A&M University collected 6,063 qualifying books on behalf of Books for Africa . This was made possible by the generous support of Memorial Student Center Bookstore, Loupots Bookstore , Texas Aggie Bookstore and Beat the Bookstore.
Many thanks to all of our wonderful student groups & bookstores across North America !
There were hundreds of successful book drives last semester, thanks to all of your hard work and dedication to worldwide literacy. We excited to work with you in the coming semesters to make an even greater social and environmental impact – please check back for upcoming stories highlighting some of our best drives of the past year.
Posted by admin on 11.29.2006 at 1:23 pm
As part of our ongoing efforts to be good stewards of the earth, and all the people who inhabit it, Better World Books is pleased to announce that as of today, all shipments on orders from BetterWorld.com are carbon neutral!
Carbonfund.org Pioneers Carbonfree™ Shipping
A pioneering program to offset shipping-related carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions, Carbonfree™ Shipping, is being launched today, according to Carbonfund.org. The program was designed in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University’s Green Design Institute. It involves a breakthrough method for calculating shipping-related carbon dioxide emissions. The first four companies to participate in the program are BetterWorld.com, evo (Evogear.com), 3r Living, and alonovo.com.
How the Program Works
When a shipment travels from a warehouse to its destination, fossil fuels are burned, producing CO2. CO2 is one of the primary gases contributing to climate change. Carbonfund.org worked with a research team at Carnegie Mellon to design a proprietary method for determining how much CO2 is produced by each shipment.
The shipping industry moves billions of units every year and accounts for more than 600 million tons of CO2, according to US government figures. This is more than the CO2 emissions for the entire country of Canada. The Carbonfree™ Shipping program has the opportunity to revolutionize how this industry deals with its carbon emissions by providing an easy and affordable offset solution. A typical package will cost just a few pennies to offset the climate impact, depending on the weight of the shipment, the method of shipment, and the distance the package will travel.
How Carbon Offsetting Works
The initial program partners – BetterWorld.com, evo, 3r Living, and alonovo.com – have agreed to “offset” the CO2 created by their shipments. Carbon offsets zero out CO2 emissions from one source by reducing the emissions from another. For example, Carbonfund.org uses offset funds to support renewable energy projects such as wind and bio-fuels that reduce or offset CO2. Carbonfund.org also supports energy efficiency and reforestation projects that effectively rendering the activity “carbon neutral”. Offsetting helps underwrite the development of a renewable energy infrastructure.
Starting today, all shipments from BetterWorld.com will be Carbonfree™
Evogear.com and 3r Living will offer the Carbonfree™ option to their customers; alonovo.com is integrating the option into their platform.
“This is a big step forward for the fast-growing carbon offset industry,” says Eric Carlson, executive director of Carbonfund.org. “This program demonstrates that individuals and companies can have an impact on this global problem, one shipment at a time. It also proves that it’s not nearly as expensive to deal with climate change as many people might think.”
Posted by admin on 11.27.2006 at 8:17 pm
Thanksgiving is the typical time to feel grateful for what you have, so I hear. To tell the truth, I’m not one to be sentimental and usually the primary thought that crosses my mind on Thanksgiving is “When do we eat?”
This past Thursday, my role in Better World Books really hit it home for me that I am really, really lucky. I’m more than well-fed, I’ve got a college degree under my belt, and I have access to health care: a trifecta of good fortune.
Normally, I think about such achievements as the product of hard work and intellect, not the environment of opportunities I was born into. “Gee, I’m really glad that I wasn’t surrounded by violence, famine, and an AIDS crisis when I was a kid,” is usually not my first thought about how my life’s events have unfolded. Living in the United States, it’s easy to forget how lucky I’ve been, since most of the time I interact with people who are equally fortunate.
Considering the relationship between poverty, war, disease and illiteracy, it’s a no-brainer that education must be improved for children who aren’t as lucky as myself, here in the U.S. and worldwide.
Like I said, I’m not one for sentimentality, but I’m really grateful that Better World Books has engaged so many people in this mission of literacy — and I’m grateful that our BWB partners (including students, professors, librarians and bookstore managers) take part in this mission year-round, not just on a turkey-filled holiday.
Posted by admin on 11.27.2006 at 6:01 am
Six Flags Great America (Chicago, IL) – On September 30, employees from the Accenture – Chicago office collected over 2000 books during their inaugural Corporate Book Drive, which was run in conjunction with the Annual Company Picnic. Employees were encouraged to collect new and lightly used books and drop them off as they entered the park. The books that were collected will be sold by Better World Books, and a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Room to Read.
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, accenture, book drive, chicago, corporate, room to read, six flags
Posted by admin on 11.26.2006 at 10:12 pm
Sometimes the true meaning of something, in this case, Thanksgiving, is best defined and understood through the eyes of others. Below is a message from one of the people the BWB team met with in Tanzania this past summer. Billy is a recent graduate of the University of Miami and ran book drives with us there while he was a student. After graduation, he joined the Jesuit Volunteers Corp and went to work in a school (The Loyola School) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Mary, David, Patrick… [that is Mary Murphy @ BWB, David Murphy, CEO of BWB, and Pat Plonski, director of Books For Africa, respectively]
Greetings from this side of the globe and happy thanksgiving….no turkey here so eat extra for me…
EOTF finally help the book distribution ceremony this past monday after sorting through all the books and determining what went where…in all they sent books to 602 secondary school, a bunch of primary schools (i forget the #) and 14 government libraries nation wide…it was a huge success and publicized well…my students who live in the city and have TVs say the ceremony was all over the news…during it both mr. basil (the exec. director) and mama mkapa expressed their sincere gratitude to books for africa and better world books….and even though we dont celebrate thanksgiving here, today all of us at loyola are forever grateful as well…attached is a picture from the event…hope all is well with you and your familiies this time of year…God bless you and the work you do…peace…
In Faith and Humble Service,
Billy [last name edited for the sake of privacy]
Jesuit Volunteers International
Educator, Social Servant
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Posted by admin on 11.20.2006 at 2:02 am
Some praise for Better World Books showed up recently on John’s Corner of the World. Introduced to Better World Books by a used book purchase (as many are…), John dove in a lot deeper and wrote his thoughts down in blog posts on: Integrating One’s Mission and A Purpose/Mission-Driven Business
If only every used book shopper had the curiosity to dive in that deeply!
Have your say » | Tagged Impact, Show Us Some Love, bloggers, Show Us Some Love, support
Posted by admin on 11.16.2006 at 12:30 am
There are innumerable benefits to coordinating a campus book drive, for student leaders and bookstores alike. The most obvious, of course, is the tremendous amount of material and financial support that Better World Books is able to provide to our literacy partners as a result of their hard work.
For student organizations, spearheading a drive is not only a meaningful service project, but also a successful fundraiser, as well as a great way to generate some buzz and raise your profile on campus, which can lead to a greater recruitment turn out.
For bookstores, supporting a drive drives foot traffic to your store, and does wonders in terms of generating goodwill toward your store – particularly during buy-back, when it’s needed most. Many stores are taking the positive PR one step further, by providing bookstore scholarships or making donations to local charities with funds provided by BWB.
But in many cases, there are far greater – yet harder to measure – implications to coordinating a book drive. For example, many of the 900+ BWB book drives that took place last Spring were coordinated by Alternative Breaks groups. Alternative Breaks is an amazing organization that provides students with the opportunity to engage in week-long, intensive service-learning projects over Winter and/or Spring Break, as opposed to hitting the beach for a week of debauchery.
These groups often use the funding they’ve generated through their campus book drive to subsidize the expense of sending large groups of students to a distant locale for a week of service. Speaking from experience (I participated in 3 Alternative Breaks as an undergrad), I can tell you that some of the students who participate in these trips will have the most profound, defining experiences of their lives. Some of these students will be so deeply moved that they will alter their course of study and their chosen career paths. Some of them will choose a life of service as a direct result of having participated in an Alternative Break. Indeed, most of the choices I’ve made in my own professional life can be traced back to my first Alternative Break in 1997, when I traveled from Kalamazoo, Michigan to Atlanta, Georgia to work with the city’s homeless population.
So please, dig deeper. Look beyond the most obvious and immediate benefits of coordinating (or simply supporting) a campus book drive. There is such great potential in cultivating a civically engaged student body. One act – be it donating a book, coordinating a drive, or supporting a student organization that is – can set off a chain reaction that will dramatically affect the lives of far more people than you’ll ever know. Pay it forward.
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, book drive, bookstore, campus, literacy
Posted by admin on 11.11.2006 at 7:40 am
Laboratoire Informatique Safari
FORGE Mwange Computer Lab Update
Dear Computer Lab Supporters:
It has almost been two months since our last encounter with an internet connection and there is much to update you on concerning the computer lab! You last heard of the classes that were going well, our amazing computer teacher Francis, and the beautiful mural the FORGE painting group put up inside the lab. Since then, our building, curriculum, and community outreach have all improved.
The computer lab now has an official billboard sign showing off its new logo and title.
The building has also been enhanced with the addition of 3 DC energy-saver light bulbs, allowing students more practice time. The computer lab has been so popular and students are so eager to practice their new skills that the lab’s schedule has become quite demanding. Our solar panels don’t allow for non-stop power draw but we are able to have the lab open for about 10 hours a day Monday through Saturday. Mornings and evenings are practice time, and classes are conducted during the day. After receiving almost 250 applications for our second round of classes, the new group of 144 students was selected drawing from a variety of age and educational levels. We have also invited 19 members of the local Zambian community to participate in classes.
Our computer lab coordinator, Francis, has taken some of the exceptional students under his wing to teach them more advanced computer-use skills. And after receiving some computer textbooks from the Mulrow family, he is now expanding his own knowledge of computer hardware as well as webpage design and programming languages.
For students returning to the
Managing FORGE’s many projects in Mwange has been a non-stop effort, however the energy of the community has kept us happy and healthy (with the occasional/inevitable new food that didn’t sit so well). We are comfortable here, knowing that we also have your support to rely on back home.
Amani na Furaha,
John Mulrow & Jolie Glaser
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized
Posted by admin on 11.10.2006 at 5:30 pm
Every day, Google News sends me a number of articles with the keywords “literacy” and “Africa.” The majority only mention literacy in passing and then go on to offer a gloomy outlook on African development. Having worked with a number of African students and having visited Africa, I know that it is not the gloomy and hopeless place that many media outlets make it out to be. Where are the African news stories with a positive tone?
The following article is a breath of fresh air. Event though this piece, like most others, only mentions literacy in passing, it offers some very uplifting statistics on the state literacy and education in Africa . Recognizing the good along with the bad, this piece provides a balanced perspective on African development.
It is undeniable that there are a number of very serious issues that Africa and its many states must address to free themselves from the cycle of extreme poverty. I’m not suggesting that these topics should be ignored by the media or that they do not deserve attention. However, it is important these issues are approached in a constructive way and that impactful development is given the recognition it deserves. Positive reinforcement and positive thinking are key components of progress…
Has Africa finally turned a corner?
| Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
JOHANNESBURG , SOUTH AFRICA – With a decade of sustained economic growth, increasing demand for African minerals and oil, and a falling number of conflicts, the trend lines for some countries in sub-Saharan Africa are finally starting to look pretty good.
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, africa, literacy statistics
Posted by admin on 11.10.2006 at 5:20 pm
Our wonderful U.S. literacy partner, National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), released an impressive tabloid for International Literacy Day on September 8th 2006 (previously blogged here) and it’s now available to download from their website!
Titled “Newspaper Inspiration: New Generation,” the 16-page tabloid features engaging articles and activities, all geared towards making reading the local newspaper a family affair. The literacy information and activities for parents and children of all ages include:
- Activities to improve reading and match comprehension
- Parent resources
- Word games and activity calendars
- Literacy volunteer opportunities
Last year’s version ran in more than 400 newspapers throughout the nation with a combined circulation of more than 25,000,000!
You can download the beautifully designed tabloid from NCFL’s site: http://www.famlit.org/site/c.gtJWJdMQIsE/b.1466911/apps/s/content.asp?ct=2992071
In addition, NCFL recently sent Better World Books a series of stories about the parents that benefit from their family literacy programs. Here’s a feature on Carolina Hernandez, a family literacy student through the Even Start program at McFerran Elementary in Louisville , KY.
Originally from Mexico , Carolina is married with two children. She has lived in Louisville for six years. With just six months in the Even Start program, she has already learned a lot. The Even Start program helped Hernandez keep the job she’s had for two years. The money she earns at her job helps to support her family and she also sends what money she can to her parents in Mexico . Although the program has helped her maintain employment, her children are her priority. She wants to learn English so that she can help them with their homework.
In her own words: “I like to be independent. When I arrived here, if I needed to go with a doctor, I had to call a translator or pay money. Now I can do it myself. The important thing that I like is I can help my children with their homework. Also, it’s very important to me that I can answer my son’s questions. I think it is basic for their education.”
Stay tuned for more great stories like Carolina’s!
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