April 16, 2019

Primary school teacher sells books to raise money for The Library Project

On March 27, 2019, The Library Project office welcomed a special donor. That is Mr. Nguyen Van Do – 4th grade teacher at Pathway Primary School, Vietnam. He donated an amount of money equivalent of 240 new children’s books – a contribution that surprised us. We had a short conversation to learn more about how he raise the money, as well as his thoughts on educating children to read.


Ms. Kristin Harper (Regional Program Manager), on behalf of The Library Project, receives the fund of Mr. Nguyen Van Do. Photo: Nhi Nguyen.


  • Why did you choose The Library Project to donate to?

I like education-related community projects, especially those about books, encouragement of learning for disadvantaged students, and the activities that The Library Project does for students in rural areas are similar to what I want to do. I want to make a change, and like Adam Braun from Pencils Of Promise, I tried doing small things first, and asked my family and friends to join me. 

Pathway Primary School, where I work, organized a book-related event called “Every book is a journey”, with the desire to cultivate children’s love for reading. So I decided to register a booth to raise funds for The Library Project.

The book fair “Every book is a journey” at Pathway Primary School, Vietnam. Photo from Mr. Do.


  • How did you fundraise in that event?

I sold about 110 new books from my booth. The books I sold are mostly good children’s books I have read, which have many moral lessons. Some of them are “Cuore – An Italian Schoolboy’s Journal”, “Hachiko Waits”, stories of Luis Sepúlveda the writer, Vietnamese fairy tales, etc. There were also some books for parents and teachers. I went to bookstores or ordered online to buy these books. Thanks to the support of school teachers and students, my books were sold out within more than a day, while the book fair took place for 5 days.


Mr. Do’s booth at the book fair. Photo from Mr. Do.


  • As an elementary school teacher, why do you think it is important to educate young children to read?

Reading books at the age of 6 to 11 years not only helps them to relax but also gives them more vocabulary to communicate. In addition, children’s books with high educational values ​​also elicit children’s interest in discovering knowledge. Through the stories and lessons in the book, the goodness seeds in every student will grow more and more strongly and vigorously, help them to improve their personality and become moral and intellectual people.

I didn’t read many books when I was a kid. As I grew up, I once accidentally heard a song that introduced a book, then I bought it and fall in love with reading. Now my bookshelf has more than 100 books, especially children’s books. I like the image of a grandmother sitting and telling stories to her grandchildren who listen intently. So it is my dream to be able to do the same thing in the future.

As a 4th grade teacher, I also organize book reading activities in class, or tell stories to the children but leave the plot twist for them to figure out by reading that book. At noon before letting the children sleep, I usually spend 5-10 minutes to tell stories. One day I told them a story from “Cuore – An Italian Schoolboy’s Journal”, which was about Enrico the little boy accidentally making his mother sad, and his father wrote a letter to him explaining how much she cared about him, Enrico finally knew his mistake and asked for his mother’s forgiveness. After hearing this story, a girl sobbed and sniffed. That afternoon, when her mother picked her up, she ran to hug her and said she missed her and apologized to her. The mother was surprised not knowing what happened. I just looked and smiled without saying anything.


The moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold into a library, we’ve changed their lives forever, and for the better. 

– Barack Obama


Mr. Do’s message for The Library Project: “I wish you health and happiness on your road towards building libraries and bringing books to children”. Photo: Nhi Nguyen.


The Library Project would like to thank Mr. Nguyen Van Do for his dedication and enthusiasm for children’s educational development. What he did not only brings knowledge to children in rural areas, but also develops a culture of reading for young children at Pathway School, helping them to learn from and appreciate books.

With small actions, we can all make great changes.