For more information, read the full article at MyCentralJersey.com.
Pre-kindergarten children in New Brunswick’s The Tiny Tot Spot know that Hunterdon Central Regional High School student Kai Dennis sees them as special as they received brand new backpacks filled with school supplies for the school year. Kai decided to partner with the Global Literacy Project, Inc. (GLP) to provide the basics for the entire newly entering class.
Flemington, NJ, September 8, 2014 – Kai Dennis (in photo) spent the month of August working hard to prepare for school, but not just for her senior year in high school. Kai set out to ensure that the community-based Tiny Tot Spot pre-school in New Brunswick, New Jersey would be able to surprise its newest class of entering students. With the help of her school’s Marching band and the employees of Gallus Biopharmaceutical LLC in Princetion she was able to collect new backpacks filled with literacy supplies for every fall 2014 entering student.
Kai has a history of service to her community–she is a member of Girl Scout Troop 80419 at her school and has already won Bronze and Silver awards for her community service efforts. She is also a member of the Heart of New Jersey Council.
During the summer break, the rising senior decided that she wanted to continue to make a difference and when she heard about a New Jersey non-profit, the Global Literacy Project, Inc. (GLP), working to help children both locally and globally. Kai decided that the goals of the organization sounded like a great fit. In fact, with the success of her “Backpacks for Kids” project” she is now hoping to spend her senior year assisting with several Global Literacy Project, Inc. initiatives reaching children in New Jersey as well as in Africa and the Caribbean. The Tiny Tot Spot is one of several community groups that the organization has been supporting over the years.
Reverend Lauren Carrington, the Director of the Tiny Tot Spot expressed her delight and gratitude for Kai’s efforts. According to Carrington, “Our ability to make a difference in the community is multiplied many time over when we have support from wonderful supporters like Kai.”
The theme of International Literacy Day 2014 is “Literacy and Sustainable Development.” Literacy is one of the key elements needed to promote sustainable development and having a good start at the youngest educational stage enhances lifelong learning and plays a crucial foundational role in the creation of a sustainable engagement with learning.
Book Drive By the Bragg School Triples Planned For Goal!
On Saturday, December 4, 2010, Bragg School fifth graders renewed their partnership with Randfontein Primary School of South Africa, beginning with a book drive in which they collected 22,000 books. Meryl Ironson, a fifth grade teacher at Bragg and a Global Literacy Project volunteer organized the book drive in collaboration with her fifth grade class.
Meryl visited the South African school in 2008 as part of the follow up to a smaller book drive. She returned with videos, photos and letters of the children that many Bragg students had befriended. Since then, with the support of the school principal and faculty of the Bragg School she has nurtured a connection between the two schools. This past spring they published their second “Teaching Minds, Reaching Hearts” joint poetry anthology.
A central goal of the program she developed with GLP’s assistance is to teach students that while they are citizens of their community, they are also citizens of the world. The book drive is the community outreach portion of a program, involving social studies and language arts classes.
Later in the year, pen pal letters will be exchanged and poetry will be used to unite the children of two continents. Poetry anthologies will be created by children at Bragg and Randfontein and a “Poetry Slam” or “Eistefodd,” as it is known in South Africa, will be featured in the spring.
In attendance were the Superintendent of Schools for Chester (Dr. Christina Van Woert), Bragg School Principal Dan Johnson, Nicole Macaluso, a fifth grade science teacher who partnered with Meryl to assist in developing the project, as well as many of the teachers from Bragg School along with hundreds of parents.
For more information about the Classroom to Classroom Connection, “Teaching Minds, Reaching Hearts” poetry anthology or for information on how to run a community book drive, contact Dr. Emeka Akaezuwa of GLP at Emeka@glpinc.org.
Pingry Students’ Service-Learning Activity Promotes Family Literacy in New Jersey and Around the WorldOctober 29, 2010 on 9:54 am | In Book Drives/Book Donation Events, Students Making a Difference, USA Program News, Volunteers in the News | No Comments
November 1st marks National Family Literacy Day. Celebrated across the U.S., the day focuses on special activities and events that showcase the importance of family literacy programs. First held in 1994, the annual event is officially celebrated on November 1st, but many events are held throughout the month of November. Schools, libraries, and other literacy organizations participate through read-a-thons, celebrity appearances, book drives, and more.
As part of their annual Community Service Day, a group of some thirty Pingry School students joined GLP at our Hillside warehouse the Friday before Family Literacy Day and helped to sort and pack several thousand books for distribution to our local and international programs.
It is with the help of volunteers such as these students that we continue to make a difference in the lives of those in need of access to literacy materials around the world. This group was all the more special as several members traveled with GLP to South Africa this past summer. Since their return they have galvanized their friends with the stories of how valuable their contribution as global citizens can be.
Halloween event has Rutgers Students join with GLP to Promote Family Literacy Day
Every October 31, Rutgers University hosts Monster Mash, a big, indoor trick or treat festival where parents bring their kids to celebrate Halloween, and every year, the Global Literacy Project is at Monster Mash with treats — books. This year the event saw participation from across the city of New Brunswick, and the Global Literacy Project gave out books to over 600 children.
A number of parents commented warmly on the idea of the giveaway. Each child was allowed to choose a book, and the parent or guardian was encouraged to take literature from GLP about Family Literacy Day, i.e., the US Department of Education’s Shining Stars series.
One of this year’s favorite books was Aaron’s Adventure, a book by the gifted author-illustrator Amy Paulson. Aaron is a cute elf who embarks on all sorts of adventures with frogs, mermaids and other creatures. It is very well written, brightly-colored and creatively illustrated. The children who attended Monster Mash had no difficulty identifying with the book.
Though Monster Mash is over, the kids who were lucky to get Aaron’s Adventures will continue to enjoy Aaron’s treats for years to come.
September 8th marked International Literacy Day as well the start of the new school year for students in GLP’s hometown of New Brunswick, New Jersey. As has become a happy routine over the past five years, GLP members visited the PRAB where they gave away over fifty backpacks filled with literacy supplies for students in the Puerto Rican Action Board’s Daycare program. GLP also provided a mix of early readers/bilingual books for over 260 students in the kindergarten classes.
New back packs filled with literacy supplies, bobbing on the backs of children throughout the nation is an image that we form in our minds when marking the beginning of the school year. There is a basic assumption that all of our nation’s children fit into this mold of Americana as summer fades and schools open their doors. However, communities served by the Puerto Rican Action Board daycare in New Brunswick, many of them with adults with skills for the now hard to find construction and agricultural sectors, have been facing economic challenges due to the painful ongoing economic contraction. As such, it becomes a challenge for both the school and parents to fully provide the expected back to school kit of crayons, markers, pencils, glue and a notebook,. This obviously creates distress on all sides, from parents, teachers to the children themselves.
This year, GLP members, Lissette Hererra and Summiya Abdul-Quddus were greeted with smiles and eyes that glimmered with excitement as they brought in backpacks with themes ranging from animal faces, insects and flowers. The teachers at the PRAB personalized each bag with the names of the students–many of who, overcome with anticipation, admired their new treasure with giggles and curious fingers!
The picturesque image of children happily working with basic school supplies is one that we should embrace all children around the world. It is an idea that the United Nations Millennium Goals have also embraced. Join GLP in making this image a reality, start your own community initiative, or ask us how you can help in our efforts, locally and globally!
A BIG Thank You to Middle School 131 in Brooklyn, New York. Early this year, the school donated over five thousand science, math, English and general reading books to the Global Literacy Project. Ms. Walsh, a teacher at the school coordinated the donation. Volunteers Kuixi and Xian were on hand to help move boxes of books into the Global Literacy van. Kudos to Ms. Walsh, volunteers Kuixi and Xian and to the administrators at the Brooklyn Middle School.
This past April, on the eve of his Bar Mitzvah, Ethan Briere contemplated the fact that Judaism focuses on relationships. However, it also focuses on the importance of actions over the mere mouthing of statements. As such, for the significant transition marked by his turning thirteen, Ethan initiated a wide ranging community book drive and fundraiser, drawing his entire community near and far into a new relationship with the idea of enabling change for South African students in GLP’s “Shack to Scholarship” initiative. This culminated in June with a collection of several hundred books–enough to supply a half dozen classrooms–along with enough funds to ship the packed pallets out to South Africa.
Today, several hundred students in our Randfontein locations are transforming lives through the new international relationship enabled by the important action that Ethan took. Ethan, toda raba.
It is not always easy to share. Not so with Shannon Hill McNamara, 17. Shannon, a resident of New Jersey and a 2010 Governor Jefferson’s award winner, founded Shannon’s After-school Reading Exchange (SHARE). SHARE, www.shareinafrica.org, is a New Jersey-based nonprofit organization that seeks to empower African girls through education.
Shannon’s passion about reading and her belief in gender equality continues to drive her to help girls her age in Africa. Since 2008 when she founded SHARE, Shannon and a cadre of volunteers have spent months collecting, sorting, labeling and boxing thousands of books and school supplies for African girls, primarily in Tanzania.
Expanding SHARE’s coverage in June of 2010, the Global Literacy Project received over fourteen thousand books from the organization. GLP continued to extend Shannon’s vision by donating the books to girls from the townships around our program sites.
GLP looks forward to partnering with SHARE in the future. We were also delighted to learn that Shannon, along with two other recipients from China and South Korea, were honored by the United Nations for “significant contributions to humanitarian goals” at the Youth Achievement Assembly on August 6, 2010 in New York City.
Students at two primary schools in Gauteng Province, South Africa were delighted to receive books in 2009 that were donated by a then new GLP supporter, Jenni Struthers. Jenni and several friends and classmates (all living in North Carolina) began collecting books in response to a request from Christina Vanech and Emma Carver, acquaintances of Jenni, who spent a semester in South Africa in the fall of 2009.
This year, Jenni doubly surprised the South African students when she conducted another community book drive, this time making a special attempt to collect several copies of the same books to enhance their use in the South African classrooms. She even came all the way from North Carolina to the Global Literacy Project’s warehouse in Hillside, New Jersey to sort the books and get them ready for shipment to South Africa.
During the summer 2010 Global Learning Expedition to South Africa, the GLP volunteers distributed Jenni’s books into classroom libraries at Zuurbekom Intermediate School and at Thabisile Primary School.
A number of students also received several of the books as prizes for high academic performance during the school year. Many of the South African students mentioned that Jenni was really a special person as even after her friends had returned to the USA, she still thought of them.
At GLP we’re not surprised, especially after seeing the way Jenni focused on working at the warehouse preparing the shipment. Jenni fulfills our definition of “Global Citizen.”
We all say “Thank You” Jenni!
Neeraj Shekhar, of Martinsville, New Jersey, collected some 1,000 medical books as part of a self-designed initiative with the Global Literacy Project. The books–in addition to models, posters, stethoscopes, and a digital projector–were donated to the Delta School of Nursing, an educational facility in a small Southern India coastal village that serves girls from oppressed and impoverished communities. Neeraj was inspired by the difference that access to literacy can make when he and his parents participated in a GLP Global Learning Expedition to South Africa in the summer of 2007. Neeraj and his parents, Vaidyanathan Chandrashekhar and Janaky Ramaswamy, traveled to India this past March to deliver the items to the delta School as well as to volunteer in setting up a small library with the items. According to Dr. Olubayi Olubayi, president of the Global Literacy Project, Shekhar is the youngest person to undertake this kind of project by himself.