Posted by admin on 12.26.2006 at 8:14 am
This article about Elona Rrapo, a Phi Theta Kappa member, says it all! She has demonstrated exceptional qualities of leadership with the ”Book Drives for Better Lives” altruistic service project/ fundraiser on campus. Elona is the recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award for January 2007. Congratulations, Elona!
She’s still paying it forward
By CHRIS MOORE
Published December 16, 2006
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, book drive, campus, phit theta kappa
Posted by admin on 12.19.2006 at 12:59 pm
I wish you could have seen the amazing smiles from my coworkers and the volunteers to think that a company BWB’s size came up with that much peanut butter. … THEN for me to tell them there may be more.
Saturday the most remarkable part of the season (for my job) started… from here on out, we’re doing the distribution. The essential heart of our program, where people come to us empty-handed and walk away with Christmas in their arms.
Anyway, [BWB's Senior Manager] had mentioned that BWB may match what the employees had come up with. To be honest, we did not have time to make an exact count, but I’d place it at around 340 jars. If this is truly something BWB wants to do, thank you.
Thanks again for your participation in this,
The Salvation Army of St. Joseph County
Merry Christmas All!
Have your say » | Tagged Impact, Uncategorized, Impact, in our communities
Posted by admin on 12.15.2006 at 11:56 am
In the spring of 2002 Better World Books got its start when the organization’s three founder ran a single book drive at their alma mater, Notre Dame University . Their goal was to raise much needed funding for a local literacy center.
After completing a very successful book drive, the three recent graduates decided to start and organization dedicated to running campus book drives in support of global literacy.
Today, just four years later, Better World Books is working with students and bookstores on than 900 campuses throughout the United States and Canada . A map showing the location of all of BWB’s partner campuses as of August, 2006 appears below. See if you can locate your campus…
Have your say » | Tagged Our Partners, book drives, campus
Posted by admin on 12.13.2006 at 10:18 am
I recently received this email from Damon Luloff, a grad student at Boston University who has worked on multiple book drives through FORGE (www.forgeprogram.org) at BU. The BU book drives over the past two years have brought in over 7,000 qualifying books for Books for Africa!
Damon has worked in the Meheba refugee settlement in Zambia; he’s been managing a project called PACE (Project for African Community Empowerment). You can read more about Damon’s work on his fascinating blog: http://www.pacenow.blogspot.com/
Hamjambo! It’s been over a month since the last update, and a lot has happened. So this may be a long update. But it’s exciting and will be worth your time to read. I promise.
Both the men’s and women’s projects have quickly transformed from vague ideas to real projects that are being implemented. After deciding on what problems they want to address, both groups have accelerated into the implementation phase, meeting with me five times a week and often meeting for hours at a time on their own, even as their work load has increased due to cultivation. Let me fill you in on the development of each project over the past month. Ladies first…
The women are aiming to help people improve their harvest, the primary source of food and income for almost everyone in the community. They decided the most effective way to help people improve their harvests in the short- and long-term is by providing them with fertilizer and hiring a professional agricultural extension worker to give free workshops for anyone interested in the community. Most farmers are simply too poor to purchase fertilizer which, if used properly, can triple their yields. The workshops will educate people on the most effective modern farming techniques and help them to understand the science behind farming, enabling them to manage their farms more effectively instead of blindly doing whatever others are doing in hopes that it will work.
The women immediately realized that if they wanted to help farmers improve their harvest this year they would have to work hard and fast. People would be planting soon, and one of the two types of fertilizer needs to be applied at the same time that the seeds are planted. The women needed to hurry, but could not proceed hastily. They were facing a serious challenge–determining what price they would need to charge people in return for the loans of fertilizer. Instead of charging people up-front, the women are loaning people fertilizer in return for corn in May, after people have harvested their crops. The market rate for a fifty kilogram bag of fertilizer is about $32. The government subsidizes fertilizer for registered cooperatives which only have to pay $12 for the same bag of fertilizer. Unfortunately, it takes six months to register as a cooperative, meaning that we had to purchase the fertilizer at the market rate. People in Meheba are not accustomed to having to pay the market rate. They expected to pay no more than one hundred kilograms of corn per bag of fertilizer. We eventually calculated that we could make a slim but adequate profit if we charged people one hundred forty kilograms of corn per bag of fertilizer. When we conducted a last-minute feasibility analysis to see if people would be willing to pay that much per bag of fertilizer, only a handful of people said yes. We had cut the expenses a much as possible and reduced the profit margin substantially. There was nothing else we could do. We had to either go for it or wait until next year. But quite a few people in the community were expecting to receive loans and had prepared their fields in anticipation of applying fertilizer. (Apparently, how one prepares his field depends on whether he is planning on using fertilizer or not.) Those people would be very disappointed if the fertilizer was not distributed.
Have your say » | Tagged Impact, Our Partners, africa, FORGE, Impact, Our Partners, partner updates
Posted by Xavier on 12.11.2006 at 10:19 pm
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, bikes, conferences, xavier
Posted by admin on 12.07.2006 at 3:03 pm
Importance of storytelling stressed in literacy program ; Kids, parents learn together at McDonald’s event
Parents don’t need a book to teach their children to read or learn the English language.
They only need the time, patience and willingness to talk to their children – about anything.
That’s the message Linda Arias, a certified trainer for the National Center for Family Literacy, hopes to send through weekly McDonald’s Mealtime Literacy Nights.
“The whole part of this is learning literacy is fun,” Arias said.
She is one of the trainers who coordinates McDonald’s pilot program in Palm Springs, the only one of six locations in Riverside County . The others are dispersed throughout Southern California .
The McDonald’s Operators Association of Southern California decided to team up with the National Center for Family Literacy after the center’s 2005 study showed that four out of five third-graders in California read below their grade level.
The study also reported that 26 percent of children live in households with guardians who did not graduate from high school.
At Tuesday night’s session, Arias encouraged parents to tell stories of every kind – about their own childhood, their family and their child as a baby.
“There’s fun ways to tell stories to your family,” she said. A Spanish interpreter followed her lecture and instructions, as most of the participating families are Spanish-speaking.
Parents then practiced storytelling with their children.
“Do you know something that’s funny about you?” Martha Escobar asked her son and nephew.
“Since you were born, you’ve never stopped fighting,” she said, and the boys laughed.
Escobar, who brings her two sons, a nephew and niece, said the sessions have inspired her to do more at home.
” Sometimes at home… you don’t take the time to do something so simple. Seeing their faces – how they have enjoyed it – gets me going to make a little more time at home,” she said.
Palm Springs Unified School District parents involved in the Even Start Program, a federal program for low-income families, have been invited to the 90-minute sessions for five weeks.
At each session, Arias reads books with the families, provides books and instructions for activities to do at home and teaches them how to make literacy a daily part of their lives – simply by reading street signs as they drive by or counting money in a grocery checkout line.
The sessions took place at McDonald’s, 1717 Vista Chino in Palm Springs.
Tuesday’s session was the last, but McDonald’s plans to expand the program in early 2007.
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, literacy, newspaper, storytelling, The Desert Sun
Posted by admin on 12.07.2006 at 7:28 am
Jaira Harrington, with Golden Key International Honours Society is leading a drive at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. The Webmaster for the Spelman College website spoke with Jaira in regards to the drive and to raise awareness for this campus-wide event to benefit Books for Africa, he is adding the Book Drive to the Spelman website!
What a great way for students, faculty, alumni and perspective students to see the good that the students are doing on campus. Congratulations, Jaira!!!
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, book drive, campus, spelman
Posted by admin on 12.06.2006 at 9:59 am
Belmont University, in Nashville, TN is hosting their 3rd Better World Books book drive this fall, in cooperation with their on campus bookstore to benefit the National Center for Family Literacy. Tim Stewart, The Belmont Volunteers for Literacy Adviser, helped put together a hot chocolate and cookies kick of celebration last week to raise awareness about the campus wide book drive project.
This group is particularly impressive because they utilize their book drive scholarship to fund a Family Literacy Day. This annual spring time event organized by student volunteers is open to the community, and invites children to receive free books, participate in reading circles, and make reading related arts and crafts. Better World Books is a proud sponsor of the event.
It is amazing to see how much of a resounding impact one group of committed students can have through their commitment to literacy related service initiatives!
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, belmont university, book drive, campus
Posted by admin on 12.04.2006 at 9:01 am
Beginning December 1, 2006, I will be highlighting on a monthly basis, individuals and/or chapters in my region, that have demonstrated exceptional qualities of leadership with the” Book Drives for Better Lives” altruistic service project/ fundraiser on campus. The individuals and/or clubs receiving special recognition have lead a superior drive…raising awareness on campus for the book campaign, recruiting volunteers, motivating and educating students and professors at the Planning Session, delegating tasks and ‘rolling up their sleeves’ to ensure that the book drive is a successful, campus-wide event on their campus!
I have had the privilege of working with many wonderful people. The first recipient of this Award is Whitney Ellis from Golden Key International Honour Society at Florida State University.
Whitney has shown outstanding leadership skills to make the book drive benefiting ‘Room to Read’ a reality – and a success – at FSU!!
She was an Officer in her Golden Key Chapter last spring when we first connected, studying full-time, majoring in Studio Art as well as working a part-time job. She made the decision to lead the drive on campus as she believed wholeheartedly in our mission to help break the cycle of poverty and dependence through literacy…one book at a time.
Whitney and her husband, Josh (who served in Iraq from 2003-2004 and currently the GK President at FSU) were married in a civil ceremony in May of 2005. The date that they set for their ‘official’ wedding with guests, gown, reception, etc. was set for May 20, 2006….little did she know when she set the date the year before, that she would willingly be packing boxes of books with Josh and organizing a cadre of volunteers the month of her wedding!! Whitney, while studying, working part-time and planning for her wedding would come home to her apartment where the second bedroom was overflowing with books! She was tireless in her approach to organizing the book drive on campus!
Anything that I would suggest to Whitney, she implemented…an article in the campus newspaper, a PSA in the local radio stations to promote the drive, facebook, tabling ( that’s Josh at the table), recruiting volunteers, another club to co-lead the drive, (this semester we are piloting a program where there will be two pairs of organizations, a total of four clubs, leading autonomous, simultaneous book drives on campus), flyers around campus, working with the recycling department on campus, table tents in the dining halls, inviting her on-campus bookstore to participate and with great frustration, tried to get the off-campus bookstore to participate (met with him in person, drafted and sent a letter to the manager, asked her friends who work at the bookstore convince him to help.)…
Posted by admin on 12.01.2006 at 2:03 pm
I recently had the privilege of personally meeting the Zeta Psi chapter of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity at the University of Oregon. We may often have the misconception that unwanted book collections may be the largest and/or only activity for a student group any given term, but to my surprise the University of Oregon APO chapter undertakes one such project a week! According to the president, moreover, some weeks may bring up to three activities!
The APO chapter at the University of Oregon had performed so well in raising funds, for example, that they received an unrestricted scholarship from Better World Books in appreciation! I can suspect that the other projects they undertake are equally successful.
It is continually amazing what a group of motivated students can achieve! One doesn’t need access to a wealth of resources or have impressive connections, one needs only drive, leadership, organization, and motivation.
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