October 21, 2008

Sixty Libraries Donated!

Books of all kinds play a critical role in a child’s development. Unfortunately, there are very few books beyond school textbooks found in most rural elementary schools that the students can read. It’s a terrible thing for a child to grow up without having access to the educational tools and resources that many of us take for granted. The Library Project, an American charity based out of Xi’an, is rectifying this problem one book at a time.

Over the past year The Library Project donated over sixty libraries to rural elementary schools throughout China. 14,581 elementary school students benefited from over 57,200 children’s books. Each school received a wide range of high quality children’s books that included history, science, short stories, fairy tales, reference books and comics. They also provided a full set of children’s encyclopedias for older students and pinyin language books for the kids beginning to learn to read. The Library Project also provided colorful child-safe tables and chairs, posters and a world globe to all the classrooms and library rooms.

In addition to books and furniture, each school Librarian receives training on how to manage their new library. Since most rural elementary schools have never had a single book in their library for children to read, The Library Project’s Librarian Training Program gets them up to speed on day one.

Volunteers also play a huge part in the process of providing libraries. “Our volunteers play an important role in introducing the students to their new library. Games are played, songs are sung, and of course books are read. It is a very positive experience for everyone involved; the school administration, teachers, students, and the volunteers,” says Jenny Wang, The Library Project’s Country Director.

Due to the positive response of the local communities in China, The Library Project has been experiencing tremendous growth. They have completed over sixty libraries in rural China with another twenty scheduled for completion by the end of 2008.

Lan Gao and Zi Yang Counties

The Library Project is focusing on Lan Gao and Zi Yang Counties, both remote and mountainous regions of the Shaanxi Province. To date they have donated sixteen libraries to rural elementary schools in those regions, with another twenty scheduled to receive libraries by year’s end.

“These remote elementary schools have fantastic administration, dedicated teachers, and a great bunch of students eager to learn. One of the areas that the Lan Gao and Zi Yang Counties’ elementary schools lack is quality children’s books to spark these young mind’s creativity and a love of reading. We have the means to get these schools books, but all we need now is the funding. We need help,” says Tom Stader, The Library Project Founder.

Education is change, and The Library Project is creating change in the simplest way possible, by giving children the resources to learn and grow. To succeed, they need support. If you are interested in donating or finding out about other ways of becoming involved, please visit their website at www.library-project.org or contact Tom Stader at tom@library-project.org. There is a wealth of information about each of the libraries that they have donated in China to date as well as prospects for future libraries.